Jesse Taylor's life could be so much different right now. A year ago he earned a spot in the finale of The Ultimate Fighter, where he should have been fighting on national television for an opportunity to earn a six-figure contract with the UFC.
But Taylor's drunken antics got him kicked out of the UFC, and when the organization gave him a chance to get back into the Octagon, he promptly lost to C.B. Dollaway. Since then he's fought a couple times on the small-time MMA circuit, winning both contests. And as he prepares to fight on Saturday for the Xtreme Cagefighting Federation, he sounds like he's serious about getting back to the UFC.
"On the TUF show, I kind of messed up there," Taylor said. "So I've got a lot to prove to myself and everyone who saw the show. I want to benefit from what I did wrong, fight a bunch of times, get a lot of wins under my belt, I want to fight overseas, and then when the time is right I'll go back home to the UFC and take back what's mine."
Of course, it's a lot easier to talk about learning from what he did wrong than it is to do it, but in the above video Taylor discusses one change he's making that makes me believe he's serious: He's cutting weight, going from 185 pounds to 170.
"I dropped down to 170," Taylor said. "I'm not going to lie, it sucks cutting the weight, but ... I feel at 170, just because of my size and strength, it's going to be tough for people."
My own opinion of Taylor is that he has a lot of talent, and that if he's taking his job seriously, he could be a very good welterweight MMA fighter. I'll be rooting for him to prove himself in smaller shows and get another chance in the UFC.