Inside Fights Interview: Jesse Taylor

At UFC: Silva vs. Irvin, Jesse Taylor made his debut in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. However, at 3:58 into the first round, a Peruvian necktie gave C.B. Dolloway the submission of the night, while giving Taylor a devastating debut loss.

However, not only was the bout short lived, Taylor’s tenure in the UFC was as well, ending an interesting and eventful relationship with the UFC.

Taylor was featured on the hit television show “The Ultimate Fighter”. After running through three fighters and into the finals, Taylor’s chance of becoming the Ultimate Fighter were tragically dashed away.

After a situation involving what Dana White  saw as unacceptable behavior, Taylor was removed from the finale, seemingly out of contention for a career with the UFC.

All that changed when Taylor was given an opportunity to fight in the UFC. As mentioned before, the run of unfortunate luck did not end for Taylor, who was released immediately following his first round loss.

Taylor may have had a rough run in the middle years of this decade. However, since his release from the UFC, all that has changed.

Taylor has gone on to win five fights in a row since his short time in the UFC, including winning a belt at KOC: Shockwave 2009.

To make this winning streak all the more impressive, Taylor’s last four fights have all come within the first five months of 2009, making him a very busy fighter.

However, Taylor has nothing wrong with staying as busy as possible. With so many victories in so little time, Taylor is rising exponentially in the ranks of mixed martial arts, perhaps already redeeming himself from the disappointing run he had with the UFC.

With his goals on his mind, Taylor does not plan on slowing down any time soon. And through his continuous victories and dominant performances, Taylor has a great chance of completing his goal, to “get back into a bigger organization by the end of the year”.

Whether or not that goal can be completed by the end of this year depends on whether or not Taylor will be able to keep up this frantic, yet successful pace.

With no signs of slowing down, it would be a safe bet to say that “JT Money” will be able to complete that goal and continue his sprint to the top of mixed martial arts.

Jesse Taylor was kind enough to take the time out and talk to Inside Fights. To find out his thoughts on his busy year, his favorite way to end a fight, and his thoughts on another round with the UFC, please check out the interview transcript below.

Nate Lawson: 2009 has been a busy year for you. You have had four fights in just five months. Could you explain your crazy couple of months to me?

Jesse Taylor: I have been really active, just been busy. Got no injuries, and it’s what I do. I’m a professional fighter. Why not fight this much, so that’s pretty much where I’m at. I’m pretty smart with my training and stuff. I know how to balance it, so I peak at the right time. So I don’t burn myself out. All that good stuff. I think I got that down to a pretty good science. Just keep on plugging away here, keep on going.

Nate Lawson: In your most recent fight, you defeated Eric DaVila via rear naked choke. Could you walk me through this first round victory?

Jesse Taylor: I know he’s a tough veteran. I don’t know why, but he gave me his back right away. I’m pretty comfortable there. I’m really comfortable there. I just stayed there and ended up getting to choke him. I was pretty happy to get the fight fast, unscathed with no injuries, and still going.

Nate Lawson: You obtained the Middleweight Title at KOC: Shockwave 2009 , giving you your first title. What validation did this bring to you.

Jesse Taylor:  I dominated the fight, but the one in Colorado went three five (minute rounds). But it meant a lot to me. Camozzi is a tough guy. I know he had a decent record and was a good up and comer. Even the fights he lost in the past, it was pretty much beating the guy in the last minute or so of the third round. It meant a lot to me.  Especially that I can go both weights, that I can be dominate at 185 and 170.

Nate Lawson: You have won three of your four last fights via rear naked choke. Is this your preferred technique of winning fights? Or do you just find yourself in positions where you can utilize this submission on your opponent?

Jesse Taylor: (laughs) I like that move. I have really become fond of that move. I really like it.

Nate Lawson: With four fights already this year, could you explain how you have been able to prepare for fights with such little time? Do you bring the same gameplan into the majority of your fights, or are you simply able to transform your game to match up against any opponent

Jesse Taylor: At first, I definitely have a gameplan. I always do. But the way fighters succeed, you really gotta adapt. You gotta be like water and kind of change and go wherever the fight takes you. And just find a way to be dominant.

Nate Lawson: Your first major breakthrough in MMA came when you were signed on to fight in the UFC. However, that tenure was short lived. What are your thoughts on the UFC, and more specifically on Dana White?

Jesse Taylor: The UFC in general, I still like the UFC. I can’t deny that it’s one of the major league players. My thoughts on it is that the UFC will always be there. Like you said, I can keep on fighting once a month. I can make my money just as good as those guys, of course I’m fighting a lot more. I’m doing quite well for myself fighting this much, and there’s Strikeforce, there’s Dream. It would be cool to just go around there, garnish experience, and when the time is right, go back to the UFC. The thing about the UFC, it’s a people’s sport, fighting. So as long as I’m winning. As long as I keep on winning here, people will hopefully demand me back.

Nate Lawson: So you would wish to fight in the UFC again, regardless of anything in the past? 

Jesse Taylor: I would, I would. But at the same time, I’m in no rush. I’m under the radar a little bit right now, but there’s plenty of guys to beat up out there. Plenty of tough individuals.

Nate Lawson: You gained early fame in the MMA world through your time on the Ultimate Fighter. Viewers could see that you were really good at fighting. You won three fights on the show, until you had to be kicked off. How have you recovered to become the successful fighter you are today from that situation?

Jesse Taylor: If you look at peoples records for the majority of the part, everyone gets a lot better from that show. Everyone always improves, it seems to me, from that show. I think it’s just because we were thrown into the limelight like that. It’s a mental thing. You gotta kind of live up to that. You mentally tell yourself how good you are and start training that good. Of course I trained on the show with Forrest and tough guys. Also what happened to me I think, I got a lot to prove.  To myself, to family, to everyone. To my fans. I got a lot I’m fighting for. I definitely think I got a lot more I’m fighting for than other people.

Nate Lawson: Did you continue your relationship with Forrest Griffin. Do you guys talk at all or anything still?

Jesse Taylor: You know it’s hard because everyone is being a fighter. Majority of everyone ends up doing their own thing. Everyone ends up doing their own thing. But at the same time, if I see Forrest, especially Forrest, I’m sure he would give me a big bear hug, and we’d go hang out together. I mean, that’s how it is. We’ll always be tight in that way. We don’t really keep in contact as much as I think we’d like. It’s just we’re so busy.

Nate Lawson: Like I said before, 2009 has been a very busy year for you. What can everyone expect from you for the rest of 2009? What are your plans for the remainder of the year?

Jesse Taylor: My goals and plans are to win every fight in 2009 number one. And number 2, get back into a bigger organization by the end of the year. So just keep winning, get back in a big organization, and it doesn’t hurt on the way to collect some titles. So keep doing those things and Ill be a happy man. Those are my goals.

Nate Lawson: Where do you see this crazy career as a mixed martial artists taking you?

Jesse Taylor: A lot of money. I gotta say, I see it taking  me quite far, especially now that I can go 170, or 185, my goal really is to get back in there. Get back in the big show, and take a couple world titles. Itd be nice to get a world championship at 170s and 185s. And I think Im going to have a long road ahead of me, that nothing in my lifes really been easy. So I think Im doing it the hard way, but Im gonna keep on plugging away and keep going til I get back in there.

Nate Lawson: Well that about wraps it up. Is there anyone you would like to thank? Any shoutouts or anything?

Jesse Taylor: I just had a couple. My sponsor Clinch Gear. I gotta shirt there too now. People wanna by that “JT Money”. Kind of a special shirt there. I wanna thank Team Quest, Dan Henderson and company. All those guys , my training partners. And last but not least, my website, gotta plug that. My shirts up there too and blog once in a while there. So yeah, that’s it.

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