Sunday, June 16, 2013
Lauren Taylor Interview
Photo 1: Invicta FC/Esther Lin
Photos 3-5: Sherdog/Dave Mandel
In April Lauren Taylor came in as a late replacement to face Kaitlin Young for Invicta. Many people overlooked Taylor and thought Young would make short work of her. Taylor proved that was a mistake winning a decision over Young. Now Taylor returns to the Invicta cage on July 13th to take on Sarah D'Alelio in a fight that Taylor says has Fight of the Night written all over it. Confident yet also very humble, Taylor has all the attributes to quickly become a fan favorite.
Q: Your last fight in April, you won a decision over Kaitlin Young. Kaitlin was the biggest name opponent you had fought and it was Invicta, were there any nerves going into that fight?
A: Of course, there is nerves going into any fight. Lately I have changed my view on how I view fighting and it helps me calm my nerves. I am just in there to put on a good show and do my best and be the best fighter I can be. When I look at it like that, it is not all about winning and losing. It is about being offensive and showing off all the new skills I have learned and playing a chess match with my opponent and trying to show the world the best fighter that I can possibly show them. When I look at it like that, fighting becomes really fun for me. If I go in thinking it is a do or die situation, it builds up a lot of nervousness and I can't focus on what I am supposed to be doing.
Q: You came in as a late replacement and most people not familiar with you were thinking it was an easy win for Kaitlin. Did you feel overlooked?
A: Maybe, but I would have overlooked me. It's nothing to be bitter about. It was nice to go to a fight as such a heavy underdog.It was a cool experience. I don't mind being the underdog at all. It takes a lot of pressure off. I like short fight camps. Less time to stress, less time for injury or illness. The downfalls are that maybe your cardio won't be in order or you don't have time to train for that one person, but for this fight with Kaitlin my cardio was already good.
Q: What does it mean to you that Invicta brought you back so quick?
A: I signed a contract last October, a three fight deal. It has just taken things lining up for me to get out there and be able to fight for them. It wasn't a big shock for me although it might be to the rest of the world. The truth is, I train really hard and right now fighting is all I am doing. It is not a part-time job, it is what I am devoting my life to and I like to throw myself into it as much as I can.
Q: You have Sarah D'Alelio coming up, how do you feel you match up with her?
A: I think it is interesting. I have never fought anyone like her. Never fought anyone who is as good on the ground as she is. She is a pretty decent wrestler, it will be cool. It is easy to look good on the ground when you fight a boxer with no ground experience like I did with Jennifer Scott. She was pretty lost. Kaitlin has been around for a long time but she is known for her stand-up. Before that, I had fought all boxers, not by choice, it is just how it worked out. It will be interesting to fight someone with a good ground and wrestling game. her stand-up has come a long way. I train with all guys and they are always stronger than me, bigger than me, and a lot of times a higher rank in Jiu-Jitsu and it is hard for me to see progress till I fight. Now I can see where I stand among women in my weight class. Till the fight it is hard to tell if I have made any progress.
Q: Sarah and Kaitlin are polar opposites, how does that change how you train?
A: It will change some of the things I work on. For any fight I would work on getting out of a crappy position but with Sarah, she likes top half guard and side control. I don't wanna get caught there. Kaitlin liked to throw kicks so we worked on checking it and throwing a right hand. Specific stuff like that. I still take as many Jiu-Jitsu classes as I can, I still spar, I still do strength and conditioning.
Q: She will wanna take it down, are you confident you can hang with her down there?
A: I would hope so. It is hard to say, we will see in the fight. One thing I know about me is there is no quit in me. She can get me In a crappy position and I am not gonna stop fighting and look for a way to hurt her. No matter where the fight goes I am looking to whoop your ass. I am not too worried about it going to the ground. Even if it does, I am gonna make it miserable for her. She might submit me, she might get on top and ground and pound me, but it won't be quick and easy and she is not gonna enjoy getting there. If I can make her pay enough in that transition then she won't do it.
Q: In the Kaitlin fight, when it did go down, you were really good at getting the dominant position. With Sarah I expect you have a strength advantage, if it does go down, will that help you get those dominant positions?
A: Oh sure, I'll take whatever I can get. I think you're right, I think technically she is a little bit better, trickier on the ground than I can be but I don't think she will be faster or stronger and that helps in MMA. Strength and speed really count for a lot when you are slippery and sweaty as opposed to in a Gi or when someone is dry. It is a game changer, a lot harder to get submissions. You have to get submissions in transitions, in the scramble and I am pretty good in the scramble. Strength will play a big role in who comes out on top.
Q: Even if you are in a clinch can that strength help you keep it up?
A: I suppose it could. Yeah!! She is a good wrestler, I am not bad myself, I'm not an idiot when it comes to wrestling. Kaitlin took me down and it wasn't the most pleasant thing I ever experienced. Sarah did an interview and said she wanted to stand and bang with me, which is fine. For this fight, I honestly don't care where it goes, you wanna stand and bang then I am gonna make you pay, you take it to the ground, I am gonna make you pay, you wanna clinch on the fence, I am gonna make you pay. Even if I come out on the losing end, it won't be easy for her and won't be painless. Either way, the fans will appreciate that. That is what fans wanna see, they don't wanna see a mismatch, they wanna see a fight, they wanna see blood and scrambles and heart, that is what I bring to the table, I bring all this stuff the fans wanna see and I am gonna give them a good show.
Q: In regards to her saying she wants to stand and bang, do you believe that or do you think she is trying to just throw you off?
A: That's a good question. I don't know. I came across it and listened and was like "well, gotta take it with a grain of salt." Who cares? All my TKO's have come on the ground, so in my mind I'm like "why would you wanna go the ground? That's where I always win. If you think you are better on the ground, and think you can hold me down and TKO or are slick enough to get a submission on me, you are taking a pretty big chance there." The other half is, if you wanna stand and bang with me, guess what? You are still gonna get TKO'd. I don't know what she is thinking. This is gonna sound bitchy and I don't mean it to, but I don't really care what she is thinking, it matters very little to me. She can take it wherever she wants and I am gonna make her pay.
Q: If it does stay up, can she hang with you for an extended period?
A: That's a good question. I think her stand-up is a little different than mine. The last eight weeks I have made a lot of progress and am excited to show people. I hope it does stay standing for a couple minutes at least. She likes to lead with an uppercut and has a different style. We will see. Styles make fights.
Q: Is there a specific key to you winning?
A: Hurt her really badly. Honestly, that is the key. The chances of me submitting her are slim to none. I have a general game-plan. My coaches and I will sit down and review tape and they tell me what to do. They have a good game-plan and I carry it out. Whatever they say, I will do.
Q: Do you have a prediction?
A: I predict I am gonna win. it is gonna be a great fight. A lot of people are looking at Rose Namajunas and Tecia Torres for Fight of the Night, and they are both talented and it will be a good fight, but Sarah and me have Fight of the Night written all over it. When you get to good wrestlers, usually they stand and bang. Everyone wants to see that. If it goes down, we are both scrappy and skilled, two women who know how to go at it. I think the fans win with this one.
Q: What would back to back wins over Kaitlin Young and Sarah D'Alelio say about Lauren Taylor?
A: I think it would say more about my team really. I have a great team behind me and pushing me. I have awesome coaches, they have never steered me wrong. I have worked really hard. I have a great work ethic. I work super duper hard. I think that is what it would say. Once you are in the top ten, they can lose on any given day. I beat Kaitlin, but if we fight ten times, it doesn't mean I am gonna beat her ten times, it doesn't even mean I am better, it just means it was my night. She would come out on top some times and I would some times. It is hard to say someone is better because styles make fights. You have to consider all the things, did they have a good weight cut, did they have a family emergency, did they get sick, was a coach sick, did they have to change something, all these factors that go into it that don't reflect how good a fighter is.
Q: Any idea what you want after this, or just taking it one at a time?
A: One at a time. I would like a break. I am pretty sure Invicta will have a card in October, I haven't talked to Janet Martin or my manager or anything. I have been basically in fight camp all year. My camp is in Houston and my partner is in Florida and I miss him. My son is coming to visit after this fight. I wanna take time off and hang with my family before I get back to the grind again. I don't know what Invicta has in mind, especially with the 135'ers who have gone to UFC, I don't know what that means as far as the 135'ers with Invicta.
Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: I want to thank Gracie Barra Katy, my coaches, Pat Applegate and Alex Cisne especially, and Aaron Pena. Also my training partners, especially Skylar McMellian, and the Mango family for making me feel so welcome, they've been great to me from day one. Thanks to American KnockOut Wear for being an awesome sponsor, they're the best, go buy a shirt, Klench Mouthguards and to my boyfriend Joe, I love ya babe. My manager Paul Stockler, he's been awesome, he is the best.