Jesse Taylor's DREAM debut garnered as much buzz as any of the major fights on Monday's card. Unfortunately, the bout was only officially announced a couple of days ago, leaving very little time for fans to get excited over his fight against Dong Sik Yoon.
Taylor ended up winning after Yoon injured his left ankle a minute into the fight. The victory marked Taylor's seventh in a row since losing to CB Dollaway at UFC Fight Night 14 last July.
Taylor is one of the most controversial personalities to come out of "The Ultimate Fighter" reality show, as he was dropped from the seventh season finale after misbehaving at a Las Vegas casino. He was then given one more chance to prove his worth inside the Octagon against Dollaway, but it was not to be.
Since leaving the UFC following the Dollaway loss, "JT Money" tried to rebuild his image by competing as many times as possible in the ring or cage. Monday's fight marked his sixth in 2009 and his second in the last nine days.
Taylor spoke to the media after his victory, and said that he prefers fighting in Japan as opposed to the United States.
"The UFC kind of labeled me with [the bad boy label], and I don't know if I'm really like that or not," he said. "But I just want to show the fans and the people that I am actually a pretty good guy. Obviously from my past, I have a lot to prove now. I got two boys -- two sons -- and, you know, this provides a means to an end, and I really like fighting here. I mean, to tell you the truth, I like fighting here a lot more than the States. So hopefully you guys like me, and hopefully I'll be back. I want the best."
Taylor's disappointing run in the UFC may end up being the best thing to ever happen to him. After becoming a reality television star, the Team Quest member was immediately forced to fight on local shows to remain relevant. One would think that could be quite the humbling experience. Now he is fighting for one of Japan's biggest promotions and back in the public eye. Heck, he also seems to have matured a little bit, too.
Needless to say, HDNet and DREAM should take Taylor up on his offer to return to the promotion because he can only help bring some much-needed extra attention to their events. But next time let's hope they give fans enough time to actually get excited about it.