Sunday, June 30, 2013

Taylor Munsell Interview

Originally Taylor Munsell just wanted to take up boxing when she entered the gym. Several months later she was entering an MMA cage for the first time. Taylor won her first two fights before suffering her first defeat last year. Moving and other things have kept Taylor from training and fighting since then but she is hoping to eventually get back to training and fighting at some point.

Q: Can you talk about how you got started training?
A: I had always been interested in at least boxing. My mom took me down to a local gym about three years ago and I started boxing and five months later I had my first fight.

Q: When you first started, was the plan to fight?
A: No! Not at all. It was just to get in good shape and that was it.

Q: You started with boxing, so why did you try MMA?
A: Because the gym that I went to was mainly MMA. I didn't know that at first. I am glad I went that route because I have had a good start with MMA.

Q: Some people may be concerned with their daughter or friend getting hit in the face, when you decided to fight were your family and friends o.k. with it?
A: At first no. My mom was o.k. with it, she had to sign for me because I was only sixteen. My dad was absolutely against it, he hated it. My grandparents were pretty supportive. Everyone pretty much was but my dad.

Q: That first time walking out to the cage, were you nervous or excited or both?
A: I was very excited. I was fighting in front all my family and friends, it was in my hometown. I was nervous, I didn't know what to expect because it was my first fight.

Q: Do you remember how you felt right after that first win?
A: I was on cloud nine. There was nothing else in the world that mattered. My coach came up to me and picked me up and flew me around. The promoter had me say a couple words. My mom picked me up and gave me a big hug and everyone was congratulating me. I was on cloud nine for a couple months, it was the best feeling ever.

Q: At that point do you realize you can do this and be good at it?
A: Oh yea, it was definitely something that I put my life around. It was my number one focus. It was high school and MMA and that was it.

Q: Your last fight was your first loss to Haelle Smith. After you get a couple wins and are feeling confident, how hard was that first loss to take?
A: It was hard but it wasn't as hard as I expected it to be. I wasn't supposed to fight Haelle, both my opponents backed out. Three months prior to that I had been training with Haelle. We were pretty good friends and we had trained together for a year. It was very unexpected. It was hard because I had to lose against a friend but it made me realize a lot and I took it with good spirit and it made me realize not to be a sore loser.

Q: That was over a year ago, is there a reason you haven't fought since then?
A: I have had some things in my life that have put me on a setback a little bit. I have moved to a new state by myself. There has been things that have put me to where I don't have the ability to train right now. I will be getting back into it eventually I hope.

Q: So the plan is to eventually hopefully fight again?
A: Yes, I would love to. First thing is I have to get back down in weight. There are a ton of good gyms here in Colorado Springs and I plan on getting back and getting my cardio back and then hopefully start training MMA again.

Q: There are several good gyms out there like you said, does that make you more optimistic knowing you have so many good options?
A: Oh yeah! I don't even think I would be able to just train at one gym. There are so many people to train with. There is Raquel Pennington, Summer Bradshaw, Jeremy Kimball, some of the Wildman Team come here, Altitude MMA, 719 Fight Team, a ton of places, so I don't think I would be able to train in just one place.

Q: Assuming you do fight again, from your last fights, were do you feel you most need to be better?
A: I would definitely say that I want to work on my ground game more. I do know quite a bit but am still pretty much a beginner. I trained with Patricia Vidonic before and she taught me a lot. I am mostly a stand-up fighter.

Q: Is there anyone you like to watch and try and learn things from?
A: That's a hard question because there are so many good people. I definitely like to watch Michelle Waterson, she is one of my role models. Raquel Pennington, I have met here and hope to train with her. Leslie Smith has amazing stand-up, she is awesome and also from Colorado which is way cool. There are a lot I look up to.

Q: Looking back even to when you started, would you have ever imagined seeing women in the UFC?
A: No, I didn't. When I first started, I didn't know anything about fighting, anything about the UFC. It is amazing to see women can push a men's sport so far.

Q: I am gonna put you on the spot. Invicta is coming up, what will be fight of the night?
A: I am gonna say Cassie Robb and Livia Von Plettenberg. I am actually very good friends with Cassie, I grew up with her and am a brides maid in her wedding come up. Cassie is a little scrapper. I am planning on going with her to Invicta. I also want to see Cris Cyborg and Marloes Coenen. I have followed Cyborg and am excited for that one as well.

Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: I would like to thank my mom. She is up in heaven but she got me started in all of this. My first trainer Forrest Tobin, he got me a long way and is one of my role models. All the girls and guys I trained with. I don't have coaches right now, but thanks everyone who got me where I am today.

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