clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Q&A with 'The Ultimate Fighter 7' alum Jesse Taylor

Jesse Taylor (9-3) will challenge for the King of Champions middleweight title on Saturday when he takes on Chris Camozzi (10-2) at King of Champions "Shockwave 2009" in Denver, Colorado.

MMAFighting.com: How's it going Jesse?

Jesse Taylor: Going good. Checking my weight here, getting ready for the fight.

MMAFighting.com: How's your weight for the weigh-ins tonight?

Taylor: Oh, my weight's good. This fight is at 185. I don't have to cut that much, so I like fighting at this weight.

MMAFighting.com: You experimented with 170 a few fights ago. Did you notice a significant advantage when it came to strength and size?

Taylor: Of course at 170, I was a lot bigger. As for plus or minus, I feel just as strong at both weights, but of course 185 I'm going to be giving up a little bit of size but I still feel pretty big 185 as well. 170 is awesome, but it's a big cut. If it's the right fight for me, I'll go that weight as well. This fight seemed like a good fight for me so I took it.

MMAFighting.com: How do you think you matchup with Chris Camozzi?

Taylor: I think I match up well. Very good.

MMAFighting.com: Did you watch any of his figihts?

Taylor: I don't like watching the fights. A lot of fighters do. I know my coaches do that and steer me in the right direction. But yeah, he's a tough guy here, decent all over. I think he's more of a striker with decent ground game and wrestling as well. So it's a good fight for me and I feel very good for it.

MMAFighting.com: Have you ever competed with a belt on the line?

Taylor: This will be my first that's kind of why I took [the fight]. I'm really happy. It's a big reason why I took this fight actually now that I think of it. But every fight is a big fight for me, and I'm happy and I really want that belt.

MMAFighting.com: How much closer do you think this win will put you closer to a return to the UFC or Japan or Strikeforce?

Taylor: It's a big fight for me. The main thing is I just gotta succeed, to win. As long as I'm doing well, I'm sure UFC, Japan or Strikeforce. I've had tough guys but no lesser quality opponents than Camozzi. I'm happy to face a challenge. I like challenges a lot better.

MMAFighting.com: Yeah, you picked up an impressive win over Drew Fickett in your first fight away from the UFC.

Taylor: Thank you. Yeah back in October.

MMAFighting.com: Now, when you were brought back at a UFC Fight Night to fight CB Dollaway, did you feel the additional pressure to perform well?

Taylor: Yeah, I hate using excuses for fights, but yeah, I had a lot going on, a lot of pressure, all eyes were on me. I was probably the most controversial character on the show or one of the most controversial characters ever. There was just too much pressure, when you watch that fight, I totally froze. I mean, stayed on my knees and he locked up a weird choke, Peruvian Necktie. I just kinda gave it to him. I was just really nervous I wasn't myself out there and he was the better man that night.

MMAFighting.com: And needless to say that's a fight you'd like to get a rematch?

Taylor: Oh yeah. My losses either way, I'd like to avenge them all. I think I have the skills to beat CB, I just didn't perform. If we took another fight, I think it'd go a different way. It's hard to get rematches in this sport, but yeah, I'd love to get a rematch with him.

MMAFighting.com: You said you're one of the most controversial figures. The following season Junie Browning gave you a run for your money. Did you watch any of "The Ultimate Fighter 8"?

Taylor: I caught a couple shows.

MMAFighting.com: What was your impression on Junie?

Taylor: Of course what happened to me I thought Junie should have got more repercussions. [He] got away with a lot more. I think they kept him around because he was real wild and stupid in the beginning of the show, and he was ratings. And with me, it was at the end, so they can kinda get rid of me. And the thing that pissed me off, he might be a nice guy, but with me, everything about me was natural. That's how I am pretty much. I don't do things for attention. Seemed like he was doing a lot of things for attention, notoriety and I guess everyone has their own ways but. I think it's retarded people try to act like that for TV time, you know?

MMAFighting.com: But it actually worked for him. He was brought back on the televised card of the finale and he's fighting again on Spike TV next Wednesday.

Taylor: Yeah (Laughs.) It's definitely working for him but as long as he fights well, you gotta fight good, so I guess it did work for him a little bit, but to me it's fake. It's real superficial.

MMAFighting.com: I think a lot of people would agree with that. What's the most difficult part of fighting when you're preparing for a fight? The training itself, the diet, the lifestyle?

Taylor: The sacrifice. I think the hardest thing is that I'm away from my kid and another on the way and I can't be around them as much. The training I love. I love to train. You got to love to train to be good. Of course I'm a little beat up at times but I don't mind that, but it's just getting in the way a lot because we train at weird times, even though it's flexible, but yeah I train at night a lot, at times when you spend time with your kid. Just being away from my family.

MMAFighting.com: Thanks for taking this interview. Good luck on the fight and contrats on the new baby. Before we go, do you have anything else you'd like to say?

Taylor: Yeah, for sure. Team Quest for always being behind me. All the friends and family that backed me up. ClinchGear, an excusive sponsor of mine, and my website www.gojtmoney.com.