Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Ashley Taylor Interview
I really liked Ashley Taylor's first interview so was real excited when she was interested in a second one. Since her last interview Ashley has had one fight, a controversial decision lose, in which her opponent didn't make weight. But if you know Ashley at all, you know with her dedication to training and fighting, there are a ton of victories coming her way. Her dedication and work ethic is enough to admire her, but there are so many more qualities, which become clear in this interview.
Q: First Ashley, thanks for taking the time for another interview.
A: Thank you for giving me the opportunity.
Q: For those who may not be familiar, can you tell a little about yourself.
A: I'm from a small town in Illinois called Beardstown. I have been fighting mma for a little over a year. My record is 1-2-1. I'm also a full time worker at a pig plant, and a full time mother of 3 children. I just had my 27th birthday on April 3rd. =]
Q: Can you tell people whats happened in your life since your first interview?
A: I have had a title fight since my last interview. I worked my butt off for this fight, and made weight. My opponent Jenna Fox however did not. So I qualified for the title, and she did not. Our fight went all three rounds, and to the judges hands. The judges seen the fight as me losing. So that title is still open for Revolution cage fights. I however plan on fighting for it again. I want a rematch. I plan on a rematch, and I plan on a win. No judges decision next time. Also since my last fight, I have been training in Dallas City with Coach Todd Eaves. I think I have found the gym I plan on staying at. It's a hour and a half away from me, but worth the drive. I get one on one time with just coach, and then a couple of the guys [Seth and Tyler Blind] come in and work with me on my wrestling and ground work. I love the people, the team, the gym... Also since my title fight I have had foot surgery, so right now I am out of training and fighting. I plan on focusing on doing some mitts within the next couple weeks, then after this month start some light working out, and getting back to my feet. My coach has big plans for me. =] I can't wait to get back to the gym. I have been bugging him to let me come in now.
Q: What do you feel has been the biggest improvement in your game?
A: Everything has improved with me. My coach takes the time to focus on JUST me when I am there. He works with me on footwork, take downs, submissions. He goes over drills with me, that I take home and work on... He has helped me not turn away from a hit, he's taught me my footwork, and to NOT cross my feet.
Q: Is there one specific thing you are trying to improve upon?
A: There is never just ONE thing that someone needs to improve on. With mma it comes in combo's.. You work on one thing, then have to work on the next .... I'm really trying to work my stand up. I feel decent and strong on the ground, but I really want to work my takedowns a lot more, and go from the takedown into a submission.
Q: What do you enjoy most about fighting and training?
A: I love staying in shape, I hate not being able to train and work out. I have even cheated and hit on the bag a bit since my surgery. I just can't walk downstairs and look at the bag hanging there... I also enjoy the rush you get before entering the cage. You never know whats about to happen. And when you win....... the feeling is amazing. It's your time to shine and your on top of the world... and even if it goes to the judges....... and you know you really won.... the feeling is just as amazing, because you feel that you have gotten better.
Q: Is there one part you could do without?
A: There isn't one part I could do without, besides having all my fights go to a decision. That's something I want to change as soon as I get back into the cage. I want to finish a fight, not let the judges be the ones to tell who won. I want to be the winner.
Q: How long before a fight do you like to start your camp. Start preparing for that specific fight?
A: Well if I have a fight or not, I want to be training... I train on the weekends, but it's a lot more when the fight becomes closer..... as soon as I am back on my feet, I plan to be putting in a lot of time on ALL aspects of fighting. You never know EVERYTHING about your opponent, so you should always be prepared for whatever comes at you.
Q: Have you seen any fighters lately who have impressed you?
A: It seems like every fighter that I watch does at least something that impresses me. =] Just this past weekend I went to some fights in Quincy, IL. Watched my good friend Ben Hickman win the heavy weight title, and still remain undefeated. Also watched a guy we have been working with win his second mma fight, undefeated. Also watched Randy Ford fight, and he trains with the hit squad. He's a amazing fighter, with alot of class. As for women, I haven't got to watch any women fight in person lately, but I heard Britney Anic and Glena Avila put on a great show in Saint Louis a few weekends ago. Also waiting to watch the Ashley Sanchez and Erin Toughill fight, as soon as they get uploaded to youtube. =]
Q: With Zuffa's purchase of Strikeforce, do you see that as good or bad for women's MMA?
A: I don't see much of a change honestly. I have seen a lot of talk about it, but I think things will remain just as they are. They can't change things up too much, or they will probably have some angry viewers and fighters.
Q: Is their one fight you would say is your "dream fight"?
A: No, I'm not looking for a "dream fight".... However, I will be awaiting my rematch with Jenna Fox. That's the fight I have my eyes on. Then whatever else my coach throws at me.
Q: Where are you training at? What do you like about it?
A: I train out of Dallas City with coach Todd Eaves. I like the fact that I go on the weekends and get a good 4-6 hours in and most of it is one on one. He has a couple guys come in and work on my ground game, out of Iowa. It's in a huge gym, so there is plenty of room. They also have there own ring set up, I enjoy that part, getting in there to spar. I also like that it's my team. I don't have to be there 80 hours a week, to deserve a spot on the team. They respect me, and know that I come in and train on my schedule, and then I take everything home and work on it there. Not all champion are raised in a gym. =]
Q: Are there any other fighters there that people need to keep an eye on?
A: Every gym has amazing people. I have not met everyone who goes to my gym, since I am a weekender... but I can tell you one thing. keep your eyes on Kyle Tate... or should I say his feet. =] His leg kicks are amazing... You also better be watching out for Jordan "Jordy" Weirther. He's undefeated, and will be fighting for a belt next in the 155 lb weight class I believe. Another person who puts in a lot of hard work is Jared Ferrill. Keep your eyes open for ALL of them =]
Q: I always ask what the biggest misconception is about fighters. This time I will ask, what is the biggest misconception about you?
A: The biggest misconception about me is pretty easy. People look at me, see that I am a mother, and that I'm 27 years old. They like to say "this isn't a place for a mother to be" or "fighting was for high school, and you haven't grown up" .. This is a sport just as any other sport out there. People don't quit playing basketball, volleyball or football after high school do they? Then why should I have to put something I like to do behind me. It's not like fighting on the streets. There are MANY women fighters out there whom are a lot older then me, and have just as many kids as I do. I'm proud to say that my kids enjoy getting to work out with me. They have even been to the gym with me once. MMA is like any other sport, and I roll my eyes when someone tells me I shouldn't be fighting, I'm a mother. Well all i can say is I'm a athlete also, and I'm showing my kids what a champion is. I'm not going to give up until I am satisfied, and that's the way I want my kids raised. If they like something, go for it. No one will tell me or my children what we like and what we should do.
Q: When you are done fighting, how do you want to be remembered in the sport?
A: The girl who is short, and aggressive. The girl who has won and lost, but still stayed in the game. The girl that doesn't quit, and takes it to the end. The girl with the belt around her waste someday. =] Oh, and the girl who can leave the cage always with a smile on her face. =]
Q: What is a typical day in the life of Ashley Taylor like?
A: Normally, getting up and taking care of the children... getting everyone breakfast, and off to school... then hitting the workout room, putting in miles on the treadmill, and lifting the weights........ for about 3 hours... Then I have to get ready for work. I start at 3 and get home at midnight. Come home from work, and try to get in a couple more miles before bed. On Saturdays, off to Dallas City for about 4-6 hours... one on one training, and sometimes a Sunday... whenever our schedules meet. As of right now, none of this happens because of my foot surgery, besides the breakfast and school part. =]
Q: How important is support from family and friends during the training and fight process?
A: It's always nice to have people cheering for you in the crowd... and having your friends there... but friends isn't as important as family. I expect my fiance to support me 100 percent, because that's what keeps me motivated.. If O feel he is disappointed in me, then I lose my drive and will.... I'll never have to worry about support as long as I remain at Dallas City Boxing club, and have Todd Eaves as my coach. I do it for me, and how it makes me feel. I try to put other peoples opinions behind me.
Q: Finish this sentence. In five years Ashley Taylor will be__.
A: 32 years old, and hopefully in really good shape. I'll also have a couple belts if not more to my name by then. That's the plan, but I like to live day by day.
Q: looking for sponsors? How can they reach you?
A: I have plenty of great sponsors right now, but I suppose you can never have enough. I have facebook, I'm under Ashley Taylor. Also I have team-mates that are always willing for some sponsorship. All help is appreciated.
Q: Anything I missed you want to talk about?
A: Besides gas prices, I am good. =]
Q: Anything you want to plug or promote?
A: I'd like to thank Respect No Respect, Slade at Tussle fight gear for always hooking me up with cute stuff and deals... and always listening to me complain or just listen when I feel like chit chatting. I'd like to thank everyone at Dallas City Boxing club for putting up with me. =] Tyler and Seth blind for letting me use them as sparring targets at times, and for working on my ground game with me. I'd like to thank my fiance for putting up with me through weight cuts, and training... Thanks to fight chix for sending me all the stickers =] And WidowMaker fight Sports [Shawn] for everything he's done for me, for the logo's, fight shorts, t-shirts.... Everything is appreciated. Oh and a big thanks to Chad Bergmier for getting me on his shows, and also letting me work the shows since I am unable to fight. =] I love being part of the sport anyway I can.
Q: Ashley, again, thanks so much for doing this, and good luck to you. Any last words before you go?
A: I will be remembered, and I will only get better. Eyes on the prize