Jesse Taylor is not in the UFC, but he sure is fighting hard to make a return. Unfortunately the man they call, “JT Money” will be known for his exit from the organization rather than for his overall resume. For those of you who don’t know the story, JT won his way onto the Ultimate Fighter 7 Finale. However, after a night of partying JT was videotaped kicking out a limo window and acting in a way that the UFC deemed irresponsible and undisciplined. Taylor was surprisingly booted from the TUF Finals and the dream of winning it all went up in smoke.
Redemption for TUF 7’s JT Money?
After the TUF removal, reports surfaced that Jesse Taylor put himself through a substance abuse program. Dana White decided to give JT another shot. Taylor was eventually brought back but lost a tough fight to TUF 7 alumni CB Dolloway at UFC Fight Night 14. The UFC immediately released Taylor. There have been many rumors on why he was released, but the loss may have been the biggest reason.
Since JT’s UFC release in 2008, his career has been a roller coaster of highs and lows. However, he is on a current four fight winning streak and trying to rebuild his life and career in a new Canadian promotion called Battlefield Fight League. At BFL 7 he was supposed to fight Denis Kang, however an injury forced Kang out of the bout. JT took a replacement fight but had to go up in weight to light heavyweight and took on Clay Davidson. Taylor won via unanimous decision, and set up another shot at Denis Kang at BFL 8 on May 28th at Frank Crane arena in Nanaimo.
I had a chance to sit down with “JT Money” to find out where he was at in life and in his preparation for Denis Kang.
Hey JT, let’s start with the obvious question how badly do you want to have another shot in the UFC?
I only hope that UFC will give me another chance. I got my big break through there, and it’s an area of my life I want to make better. Since my UFC release I have lost a few and beat a lot of very tough individuals and proved that I can come back from adversity. I want to make up for my mistakes. Once I return to the UFC I plan to make a statement.
You have jumped around different organizations in your career, currently you are fighting for a Canadian promotion called Battlefield Fight League in British Columbia. How has that experience been for you? We hear Canadian women are awesome.
BFL has treated me very well, and have not let me down. They are a new organization but are getting better with each show. I work and fight hard for my employers. As for Canadian women, we are in love. (Smiles) Hopefully I can find a nice Canadian wife.
You are set to fight Denis Kang. He was recently on Fat Lip Radio in Vancouver where he said (without the GSP French accent) he was not impressed with your last performance. What do you say to some of the criticism that has been thrown your way regarding your last fight?
My last fight they changed the opponent on me so it threw me off a little. As a professional you have to be able to adapt to all situations so it wasn’t that big of a deal. I had no idea people hated on that fact, I grounded and pounded the whole entire fight, and did what it took to get the win. Kang better not overlook me because in this sport that is a big mistake. I am not overlooking him or anyone; I know the challenges I face and will do well.
Do the arm chair cage fighters who criticize bother you?
If people want to hate on me for a bad night then that’s their own issues. Most haters are just jealous or envious in some way. I can’t change them, but I do promise for my actions to speak louder than words and I will keep fighting like a true warrior.
People have labeled you as a Bad Boy. Is it safe to say that you have embraced that role?
(laughs) I don’t mind being the bad guy. Adversity strengthens me.
Some say you deal with some personal demons. How hard is it to deal with those challenges on a day to day basis and how has that effected you mentally when you prepare for a fight?
I’ve been through a lot and I am happy for all the unfortunate situations in my life. It has been humbling and made me stronger and a better person. The key is to stay positive, and love not hate. Mentally I’m good for fighting and face normal issues that everyone faces, but when it comes to fighting I am very mentally strong, especially for this upcoming fight. Being mentally prepared is one of my best attributes.
What is a typical day for JT Money?
A typical day for me is training, teaching and my children. But once in a while I have some not so “typical” days.
Currently on this season of the Ultimate Fighter, a fellow Team Quest fighter, Chris Cope is making some waves on the show. What can you tell us about Cope?
I have trained with Chris in the past and we still talk occasionally. We carpooled to Quest for a while. He is a great guy who I wish I could train with more. He is super weird but a super hard worker, very cool dude and I respect that. I hope he does well.
Is there someone in the UFC right now that you would love to get in there and go to battle with?
In the UFC I’d love to fight anyone and everyone. I’m entering the prime of my career and I know I can beat a lot of those foo’s and make a statement. They have great fighters who I want to test myself against. Eventually I would love a shot at Anderson Silva. I want the best!
Where do you see yourself in the next few years?
I want to win a title in a big organization and succeed and make money for many more years in the sport. I want to keep mastering my craft to become a master in my division. The UFC would be ideal to conquer that, Strikeforce or Bellator I’d gladly get a title with them as well.
Jesse Taylor competes this Saturday night for Battlefield Fight League 8 in Nanaimo BC at Frank Crane arena. Go to battlefieldfl.com for more information. Special thanks to Jesse Taylor, Team Quest Sacramento, Clinch Gear and BFL.