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Exclusive: Jesse Taylor Talks Regrets, Missed Opportunities, and New Beginnings

Jesse Taylor is responsible for several firsts in Ultimate Fighter history. He’s the first fighter to voluntarily pee his pants for entertainment on the show, as well as the first to fight his way into the finals only to be kicked off for a drunken rampage after the show finished filming.

Now Taylor’s poised to get his shot in the UFC against CB Dollaway on July 19th. In this exclusive interview he talks to CagePotato about finally getting his shot at the big time and trying to learn from his mistakes to make the most of his second chance. When did you find out that you were going to get a shot in the UFC on this July 19 card? Where you already in shape and ready for a fight, or did it come as a surprise to you?

Jesse Taylor: I was just staying active, and you have to remember the show ended back in March, so after training so long and fighting so much it was a big layoff. Ever since it ended I was trying to get back in, but I found out just recently, just about three and a half weeks ago that I was back in. I was just so pumped up, so happy that I felt like sure, let’s go, I’ll fight anybody.

Do you think it was the UFC’s need to put this card together on short notice that made them call you so soon?

I think it was a combination of things. I think that show definitely helped. But I had this spotlight on me anyway because I was the guy who won every one of his fights and then I got this horrible punishment. I definitely wanted the fight, and I think people were interested in, you know, what could have happened with Jesse Taylor, so next thing I know I’m back in the UFC.

Do you think they would have called you so soon if it wasn’t for this event?

I think they would have definitely called me again, I just think it would have been a little bit longer.

Looking back on it now, what do you make of the punishment Dana White handed down to you? Was it too harsh, in your opinion?

You know, I feel mixed about it. I know Dana had to do something. I think there could possibly have been something else he could have done, but it was horrible that I lost out on the contract. The only positive thing that came out of it was the exposure. It still was a pretty harsh punishment.

What was it like going home and waiting for the show to air and knowing how it was going to turn out in the end? How did you handle that with friends and family who were excited for you and watching the show each week?

I couldn’t say anything at first. The few people I did tell were family and very close friends. They understood it was a tough thing. And the other people, they knew I went away and then came back but I couldn’t say anything about what happened. It was a really hard and confusing situation. It really sucked. They could tell that there was a difference in my mood, but we couldn’t talk about it. It was just a tough situation.

What do you think you learned from that situation? Do you feel like you’re different now because of it?

The number one thing was I got my priorities straight. I got myself together. I’m twenty-five years old, and while I’m still a young guy, I’m not a wild teenager running around anymore and I can’t be doing the same shit I used to do.

I had a golden opportunity, a golden ticket, and I think I could have beat both those guys and won a lot of money, and I messed it all up. It made me realize what it meant to be a professional inside the cage and out.

Given your situation with the UFC, is this fight with CB Dollaway a must-win for you?

Every fight’s a must-win fight, but this one definitely is important. It’s a great fight, a great way to break into the UFC. It’s a test for me and I’m eager for this fight.

What do you think of Dollaway as a fighter? He got a lot of hype on the show, but do you think it was justified?

Well, CB’s definitely a tough guy, I don’t want to take anything away from him, but I think he had a little too much hype going into it. I don’t know why that is, if it was because he talked a lot or his coaches talked a lot about him, but you know he had skills, but a lot of the guys on the show, or at least a few of them, had skills. So I think he got a lot of hype and being the competitive guy I am I always wanted that fight so I could show myself and the world that I’m capable of beating him.

Dana White said that a lot of guys are embarrassed of things they did on the show. You were shown peeing your pants on purpose a couple of times. Is that something you wish you hadn’t done now?

Yeah, you regret some things, definitely. Like anything, you learn your lessons in life. It’s a TV show, so anything you do they want to play it up. I was locked up in a house with a bunch of guys, just training and fighting, and I’m a fun guy so I wanted to entertain myself. I don’t know why I decided to piss my pants, but I decided to. I don’t really regret anything, though.

You’ve talked a lot about this being a new beginning for you. What’s the difference between Jesse Taylor now and Jesse Taylor before the show?

Since I started fighting I got blessed with a very good camp, Team Quest, but before the show I definitely wasn’t training the way I’m training now. Before the show I had a great camp, I had world class fighters to train with, but I was doing it more just here and there and was relying on genetics and other tools I had.

I had done that before with wrestling and other stuff in my life, but going to the show was awesome because I realized, wow, I could actually be pretty good. After the show my training was even more intense because I realized this is my career. I really upped the intensity of my training sessions and I’ve been getting my ass kicked by some of the best guys in the world, so I’m just working on getting better.

Do you think that people will always remember you as the guy who got kicked off “The Ultimate Fighter”? Is that a label you think you’ll have to work to get rid of?

Well, hopefully people don’t think that. I’ve seen it where, yeah, some people do think of me that way, but hopefully not most of them. Of course, that’s why this fight is awesome for me, because after it people will remember me for my fighting, not as the guy who got kicked off the show.

Thanks, Jesse. Anything else you want to add?

I just want to tell people that this is the beginning for me and I can’t wait for this fight. Thanks to the people that supported me and thanks to the people who are against me because it’s all motivating. I just want to give a quick plug for my website,

Cagepotato Comments

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the fucin man- July 20, 2008 at 10:47 pm
jt is a bare ugly bastard that looks like ted bundy and there is no such thing as a jt fan if there is they all lick windows.if i saw that cunt smashing a window i would brick his face then when he fell down repeatedly stamp on his fucking neck then tell him to wrestle that the fucking spacker JT SUCKS PAKI COCKS
cancer- July 18, 2008 at 2:44 pm
Jesse Taylor is a total idiot! Look at me, I'm a UFC fighter..I can grab women and assault them...The guy should get a bottle over his head. Lets see how he does in a street fight. I cannot believe the UFC put him in a fight...they must be getting desperate. He is a cancer to the sport, and I will not watch him fight.
jaymac- July 14, 2008 at 11:49 pm
I'm not a big fan of Mr. JT MONEY but with this guys stamina, strength and a little work on his stand up game, possibly get a little jitsu under his belt then maybe he could gain some talent!!! He's definitely a few trees short of a forest. but overall I respect Dana's decision for a 2nd chance. I bet the only reason Dana called him though was for the short noticed fight card for this weekend! RATINGS RATINGS RATINGS!!!!Dana is retarded for trying to compete against Afflictions fight card!!! Kind of bad for the sport as well
ADW- July 14, 2008 at 9:41 pm
Josh-kosh-B-GosH!!! LOL!! I just spit diet coke all over myself!! That is hilarious!!
Boneman- July 14, 2008 at 9:11 pm
Jesse "Mr. Potato Head" Taylor

What a douche-bag.....

I hope he gets hit by a car running down Jefferson Avenue...!
Doug Flutie- July 14, 2008 at 6:50 pm
"Yeah, you regret some things, definitely... I don’t really regret anything, though." OOPS guess he forgot he just said that.
Night Knife- July 14, 2008 at 6:32 pm
That whole interview was a waste of time. Jesse Taylor is an ungrateful, mentally retarded meathead who should have lost his spot on the show. From the interview, he didn't even sound like he really felt remorseful for his shameful display. What a cunt.

I hope Dana puts him up against somebody no bullshit. I want to see his one sided style get pummeled out by a legit ground fighter.

If him and Dante Rivera fought, the absolute saturation of lay and pray would open a vortex in the time/space continum and dump them both into another dimension where that shit is considered entertaining.
BIG CHRIS- July 14, 2008 at 6:00 pm
I don't know who I hate worse this guy or CB Dollaway, I hope they both lose somehow, first ever double disqualification, for being the most worthless human beings to ever come off of TUF!!! Do us all a favor and just go die somwhere cause you two suck!!
Ruger- July 14, 2008 at 5:46 pm
I'm not a fan but I'm not against him either. I just wish he'd get some type of nasal surgery cuz' I can't stand to hear him talk.
Myles Kilometers- July 14, 2008 at 4:56 pm
That's easily the most retarded url on the internet.

I guess "i'" was taken.

I'm actually rooting for a double knock-out in this fight, but I have a feeling it'll be a "who can lie on top of the other guy for more consecutive seconds" kind of fight.

3 rounds of intense wrestling action...thankfully there's other MMA I can watch that night.
Me- July 14, 2008 at 4:38 pm
Ya, the show sucked. However, do you think Nate Quarry, Josh Kosh B-Gosh, or to a greater extent Griffin were ready to be where they are now when they left the show. By no means!

It's a development show, like a sport farm. With that in mind I say Amir is a great prospect, not because he won the show, but what he did to win the show. He didn't go party and drink and do whatever. He moved to find a better camp that could train him and make him a stronger, better fighter. He has potential.
ADW- July 14, 2008 at 4:37 pm
Jesse Taylor is a complete Jackass. I hope he gets smashed by somebody. He is a fighter that represents everything that is wrong with MMA and the Average MMA Meathead fan. His style sucks, his face sucks everything about him sucks. A shitty fighter from a show that had almost no talent at all.

Is it me or was the last season of the ultimate fighter almost completely talentless? All of the previous seasons had some guys with goods skills and excellent potential. CB, Jesse Taylor and even Amir all have a LONG way to go before they can fight guys like Nate Marquardt, Nate Quarry and Rich franklin.

I hope JT Money gets hit by a bus.
Vrax- July 14, 2008 at 4:31 pm
Whoa he uses sentences? Are you SURE that was Taylor and not someone else?
douchebaggery- July 14, 2008 at 4:28 pm
way too many meatballs like him have kids. Idiocracy, we are here
Me- July 14, 2008 at 4:23 pm
ya, whatever, not a fan of JT until he can learn some respect not only for himself but for his child.

I still like him more than Launchpad. All he has to do is lay and pray near that glass arm and he'll auto-tap.
ORSUSBAND- July 14, 2008 at 3:58 pm
Everyone is so hung up on what he did and how he acted, but can we talk about his real "skills" inside the ring? I felt his fights were boring and he is the typical 1990's Lay and pray wrestler. Anyone can see this dude is powerful, (takes a lot of power to kick out a car window!), but i want to see how he mixes it up in the octagon. He also should be looking at fighting Amir instead of CB. Beating CB will only prove he was 2nd best, but beating Amir would make him the un-official TUF winner. Now, if he loses against CB, he will be remembered as the 3rd best.
I Wish them both the best. Let the best man win!!!
KG- July 14, 2008 at 3:46 pm
Gaston- I was just going to say that... JT is a complete chode
Gaston- July 14, 2008 at 3:39 pm
"Yeah, you regret some things, definitely... bla bla... I don’t really regret anything, though." What?
Jeff- July 14, 2008 at 3:25 pm
Jesse sounds like an ungrateful deuch bag. I was not interested in what he "could have" been. He seems like hes in denial about a number of things.

Yo JT Money? Seriously? Apparently he hadn't given us enough reasons to root against him so he threw that on at the end just to make sure we had a seething hatred for him.
Geriatric Peon- July 14, 2008 at 3:20 pm
I don't just think of him as the guy who got kicked off TUF, I also think of him as the idiot who tried to give himself the nickname jt money. What a tool.
xocgx- July 14, 2008 at 3:18 pm
I think he has done 400 interviews about this since it happened....and likely forgot to include the 'life changing' as a positive, because he has said it 300 other times, you know? It's like, in the back of his head, he already answered it.
cw- July 14, 2008 at 3:12 pm
He still doesn't get it. He says "The only positive thing that came out of it was the exposure." I think another positive thing is that he has been forced to get his life in gear - as a father and as a pro-fighter he's been forced on the wagon. That's a positive thing - or maybe he doesn't see it as positive???
TD- July 14, 2008 at 3:05 pm
"I had a golden opportunity, a golden ticket, and" a golden shower?