FightBookMMA sat down with Amateur Cage Titans Bantamweight Champ Taylor Thompson before she defends her belt in June 30th
Cage Titans 37 took place at the Memorial Hall in Plymouth, Massachusetts on Saturday January 27, 2018. The entire card aired live on iPPV on the FloCombat network. Taylor Thompson took on Tiffany McCoy and if you want to watch her slick submission finish than you have to check it out by going here. Before the new Amateur Cage Titans Bantamweight Champ Taylor Thompson defends her belt, she sat down and talked to FightBookMMA about her next title defense how she found MMA and more.
Taylor thank you for taking the time to talk to me during your busy schedule and training. First off congratulations on winning the Amateur Cage Titans Title such an accomplishment. I have a few questions I would like to ask you.
What made you decide that you wanted to become an MMA Fighter?
I was a competitive swimmer up through high school, but a minor shoulder injury prevented me from pursuing that through college. After fixing my shoulder, I dabbled in a few different sports before stumbling upon an “Intro to mixed martial arts” class offered through my college. I signed up for it having no idea what it was. I thought it would be one week of karate, followed by a week of akido, that type of thing. But it turns out that it was an MMA class, taught by the famous Jeremy Horn, in his top notch MMA gym. I didn’t have much time to dedicate to it then and I only had the chance to learn some of the basics, but that is what opened the door for me. After college, I took a break year before moving to MA for a Veterinary Medicine program. I looked up local MMA gyms for something to do after school, and found the Rivera Athletic Center, run by Jorge Rivera. Although the gym has moved and been renamed now, starting classes there and meeting my current coach, Julio Colon, is what made me decide that I wanted to pursue MMA as a career. I decided to withdraw from the Veterinary Medicine program and dedicate myself to an MMA career.
What would you be doing if MMA wasn’t in your life?
If I didn’t have MMA, I would probably go back to school for a Master’s in Wildlife Biology and try to start a career in Wildlife Management.
You won the Vacant Bantamweight title at Cage Titans 37 against Tiffany McCoy, how did it feel getting that strap around your waist?
Honestly, I was very surreal for me. When I originally decided I wanted to compete, my coach and I had the timeline that I would maybe make my debut at Cage Titans 37. But training went so well that I started taking fights earlier, and was given the chance to fight for the title on that card instead. That moment was a good reminder of how grateful I am for my coaches and teammates for helping me train and getting me to that point so quickly.
When can fans expect to see you back in the cage?
I am scheduled to defend my title against Kylie O’Hearn at the June 30 Cage Titans event. If anyone wants tickets to see the fight live, let me know and I can hook you up.
How excited are you in defending your belt?
I am very excited to be able to defend my belt. Kylie O’Hearn was scheduled to be my original opponent in January for the vacant title, but she had to withdraw due to injury. I am very excited that we were able to reschedule the bout June 30.
What do you know about your opponent?
If anything can be said about Kylie O’Hearn, it is that she means business when she gets in the cage. She is there to fight and doesn’t waste any time playing around. She is also very tough. We have talked a few times and she seems like a really cool person too.
You think she’s fought a fighter like you?
Kylie O’Hearn has had several good fights against some tough opponents in the past. However, I think I have a very different body type and fighting style from her past opponents, so I may be able to surprise her with something, despite her having more experience than me.
Are you training full-time?
When I am home in MA, I work full time and train full time. It is exhausting, but you do what you have to do to pay the bills while you make it through an amateur fight career. At the moment, I am training full time in NM at Jackson Wink MMA.
Your currently training at Jackson Wink MMA, how does it feel to be surrounded with top notch fighters?
Being surrounded by some of the best fighters in the world is both motivating and humbling at the same time. When you see the training that they do and the work that they put in, you get more motivated and try to emulate that. But it is also humbling when it comes to sparring or rolling against some of them. All in all, I feel like it has helped me improve a lot, and I hope to be able to show off some new skills in the cage in this upcoming fight.
How many more amateur fights are you planning to fight before turning pro?
It has been very difficult to find amateur fights for me. I have had a huge amount of women say no to matching up against me through multiple promotions, for both MMA and Muay Thai. It has been a frustrating process to only have two fights despite being in camp, always ‘training for the next card’, for nearly a year. I think after this next fight, we are going to look at starting my pro career, unless another good opportunity for an amateur fight falls into our laps.
Once you turn pro, do you have a promotion in mind that you want to fight in or are you just going with the flow and see what your managers say?
I don’t know what the plan is for my pro debut at this point, but my manager and I are considering a few options. It is all up in the air at the moment, but we will work on getting it figured out after this fight.
Taylor I’m going to ask you 3 rapid questions I like to do with all my interviews
1.) Whats your favorite music and who is your favorite band?
My favorite music genre is Alternative Rock. Favorite band is a bit trickier, but if I am only allowed one choice I think I would have to go with Twenty One Pilots as my current muse. However, my tried and true long-term favorites have always been David Bowie and Queen.
2.) NICE! Who is your favorite fighter as of today?
Cris Cyborg. She is hands down one of the most dominant and feared fighters in the world of all time, and she especially tops the list for women’s fighting. I think she is an inspiration.
3.) Yeah I hear yeah Cyborg is dominating the women’s division. If you can fight anyone past or present who would it be and why?
I think I would need some more time to prepare first, but I would like to put on some muscle weight and fight against Cris Cyborg. There is a common quote that says something to the effect of “work hard until your idols become your rivals”. I would love to be able to live out that quote.
I would pay to see that fight. Taylor thank you again for sitting with me with your busy schedule, is there anyone you would like to shout out any sponsors the floor is yours.
“First of all, thank you so much for this interview and the opportunity to help get my name out there to the FightBookMMA community. I love the exposure that you all give to up and coming fighters.
Next, I want to thank my head coach Julio Colon. He was the one that convinced me that I could actually make a career out of this and has supported me the entire way. It would take up a novel’s worth of pages to express my gratitude, so I will spare you all that.
Of course, I could not be where I am today without all of my other coaches, teammates, and training partners from BST MMA, Worcester MMA, Jackson Wink MMA, and the various other gyms that have been kind enough to take me in. Dan Simmler, Rolando Griffith, Todd Sawyer, Mark Capuzziello, Max Simone, Rafeal Toledo, and so many other coaches have been pivotal in my training. Jose Lugo, Kris Moutinho, and Richie Santiago have been my main training partners from my team throughout the last two and half years that I have been training, along with so many others. More recently, I have also started training with Kerri Kennison, Katharina Lehner, Yana Kunitskaya, Kayla Yontef, Kerry Hughes, and Kate Jackson. All of them have been so great in helping me fine tune my skills.
Lastly, I want to thank all of my sponsors, family, and friends that have supported me. Igdalia from Medina MMA has been my biggest supporter since before I was even thinking about fighting. Based out of MA, she has always been in my corner, and takes some of the best photos on the planet. TKO Auto Sales have always been there to help me with anything I ever needed, and they have some of the best used cars for sale out of Worcester MA. Nicole Plante is based out of central MA and does some of the best hair coloring I have ever seen, and she and I are scheming something big for one of my fights in the near future. Billy the Pizza Man from central MA always has some delicious pies all over his social media, and I think he even does house calls if you need custom pizzas made fresh for your next party.”