For Jared Gordon, UFC 295 was a family affair of sorts.
Gordon became the second member of his family to win a fight at Madison Square Garden, nearly eight decades after grandfather Sal Ferello beat him to the punch in a different sport, scoring a first-round TKO of Mark O. Madsen on Saturday night on the event’s preliminary card.
“I grew up in this city: New York, New York,” said Gordon, a Queens native now living and training in Florida, in the octagon after the win. “You made me who I am today.”
Gordon (20-6, nine finishes) weathered the early blitz from Danish former Olympic wrestler Madsen (12-2, six finishes), who bloodied the New Yorker’s nose with one of several winging rights.
But the 35-year-old Gordon, fighting for the first time in his home state, turned the tide once he took the advantage in the clinch, pinning Madsen against the fence before landing a heavy uppercut followed by a flush right hand that crumpled the 35-year-old Madsen.
Gordon added a handful of follow-up punches to the prone foe before the bout was waived off at 4:42 of the first round.
Gordon’s grandfather Ferello had compiled a 38-3-1 boxing record from 1946-50, according to BoxRec, winning his first two bouts at the Garden before losing at the venue in his final pro fight.
Nazim Sadykhov, a native of Azerbaijan who moved to Brooklyn as a child, couldn’t quite secure a second victory for the home crowd, drawing with Viacheslav Borshchev.
Sadykhov (9-1, eight finishes) managed to work through the kick-heavy attack of Borshchev (7-3, six finishes) in the first by landing a heavy left high kick in round two that nearly finished the Russian, who survived a ground blitz despite blood leaking from his left eyebrow from a Sadykhov elbow.
The Brooklynite garnered a pair of 10-8 round scores for his work.
The third round saw Borshchev rally back with his kick arsenal, but Sadykhov landed a pair of heavy takedowns.
In the curtain jerker, the night for Staten Island’s Dennis Buzukja (11-4, five finishes) was over practically before it began against Jamall Emmers (20-7, 11 finishes), who secured a TKO just 49 seconds into the first round after a stiff right hand put the Serra-Longo member in trouble.
Emmers had missed weight by a pound the day before.
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jamahal Hill, in Manhattan to attend UFC 295 at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night, found himself and his team trapped in the midst of a pro-Palestinian rally in Midtown on Friday.
Hill, who was in a van with his management team and others Friday, was surrounded by protesters that were involved in a march demanding a ceasefire in Gaza in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine.
The van was at the intersection of 41st Street and Seventh Avenue when they were trapped by protesters, which led to Hill posting his concern on Instagram.
“[We’re] trying to leave downtown,’’ Hill said in a video. “Our bus is being attacked right now by something, some protest or something that’s going on. They’re throwing, they’re breaking our windows, and all this and that. … If any of my people down here downtown and you really got me … come get these people up off our bus.”
Hill’s manager, Brian Butler, wrote on Instagram: “This could have escalated very badly. This was a sliver of a hair away from being catastrophic.”
Protesters were able to open the door of the van, but the driver closed the door before anyone else could enter. Hill also said that one of the protestors slashed the van’s tires with a knife.
Additional reporting by Dan Martin