Anthony Taylor is a mixed martial artist who most recently competed in the Lightweight division for Bellator. The California native has put together a five fight winning streak while training for Team Bodyshop MMA.
Anthony Taylor: How are you doing how’s your day going um, i’m doing great, sir yo, i just got done, training got ta stay, shake got ta stay ready, who knows, bellator might need a late replacement or the ufc might need a late replacement, i’m a free agent. So whoever wants me come get me how uh, how has training been throughout the uh throughout the pandemic? Obviously things have been shut down. I’M up in canada, so things here still haven’t really fully opened up. Yet so how has your training been throughout the entire uh pandemic? Um? Very careful, cautious uh! I run a lot so i’m staying in shape, uh jim just started. Opening up. Slowly. Excuse me, so training has been really good. I’M able to still train at the highest level with my teammates and my coaches, and still perform as if i haven’t, took a break i’d like to i’d like to kind of start talking about your mma journey, like how did you get involved in the sport? As someone up in canada, it’s not really big here, you know wrestling isn’t huge in high school. It was nice to hear about how people got involved in uh in the sport of mma. Well, back in 2013, i was living with an ex-girlfriend of mine said. I had no job, i mean i lost my job pretty much so i was always going 24 hour. Fitness just to work out. A guy approached me and his name was james harvin. He was like hey. I noticed you go to 24 hour fitness, i mean seeing you, you seem like you’re dedicated and you’ve been consistent. Have you ever thought about doing mma, i’m like? What’S that? Never even heard it these dolls, you know mixed martial arts. You know come by my gym. Take a look stuck in self-defense, come by i’ll, show you so: okay, okay, i’ll check him out. So i come by monday. He showed me mma, like oh ufc, like rampage antonio mckee um jon jones, conor mcgregor. So he shows me all these people, like, oh you know, then he checked me out on belly. He showed me bellator, you know, will brooks versus michael chandler. You know stuff like that. I’M like man, i can’t compete this level. These guys are too good. So he’s like hey, just try it for two weeks. You know who knows you might like it so i’ll go ahead and try it first, two weeks, i’m actually doing good, i’m just going off pure athleticism. So then, after the two weeks he’s like hey, i noticed you’re doing good. You ever thought about fighting in a cage. You know amateur, i’m like i never even thought about it, but you know it’ll, probably look cool with me fighting in front of a bunch of girls trying to get all you know fighting, but i never thought i was gon na be bro. So after the first two weeks of training he’s like hey, i got you a fight. Let’S do it, i’m like what, after two weeks of my first time trying he got me a fight the next week in reno called reno ultimate combat react uh, i believe so. I [ __ ] wrestler knocked him out like the first, no, the second round, and i was like man. This might be the sport for me, you know so then that’s how it pretty much all started from that from that right there. What was the reason for the long amateur uh career and you spent a long time in the amateurs before you made that pro debut? What was the reason for uh for spending so much time down there majority i didn’t know i didn’t know. If i was going to do this long term, i didn’t know i was going to be a pro fighter. I just didn’t know like i just fought just to fall um, it was exciting, but i didn’t have a team at the time and all of a sudden poof get a call. Hey um. A friend of mine knows jane. Who wants to have you fight for bellator cool, i’m down? Let’S try it. You know what i’m saying my first pro fight for bellator, so i lost that. But i remind you, i didn’t have a corner so father i was like 501 in my debut. So then me and my girl broke up in 2015. aspiring out of control. I had no job car lost it. All. I met antonio to via antonio mckee do via facebook, and we talk he’s like hey man. I got a fighter home if you want to fight you’re welcome to come down here. We got a fighter home where you can stay with us and train live with us. Come on down homie, so i packed up all my stuff literally. Had nothing moved out there with antonio mckee lived with them in the house. I didn’t have a job, so son, aj mckee, ended up giving me a job as a stripper at a strip club that he was. He was a security guard at so from there. That’S when i joined team body shop and the wrestler history at the time we had a emmanuel newton. We had bubba jenkins with us, you know, so i got to learn from those vets and time flies, and this is where i’m at now seven fights in my career. You know 13 fights a month yeah about 12 price of my career on a firefight win streak and i’m ready to make some noise bust. Some asses. You know a lot of people who fights in the amateur circuits. They don’t really go pro. I love how vocal you are on twitter and on social media about being ready to fight you’re like i want to fight so, and so i want to fight call me. I’M always available a lot of people talk the talk. Are you really ready for a call? If it were to come in and and how soon of a turnaround, would you uh be willing to take give me about a month or three weeks to a month? Let’S go, you know i walk around at 180, now fight at 45. 55. You know, let me get down to 160, i’m ready to go, but if you want me to fight at 155 a week later, okay, i’m going to start cutting weight. Now you know i’ll make it, but i’m ready to go. I’M ready to fight just need to cut the weight, i’m already in fight condition. I just need to cut away. Now is probably the best time i mean you’re, seeing guys get opportunities, uh, even guys, you’d think it’s like. Are you really ufc caliber? Just sometimes, it just seems like they’re they’re signing guys left right and center because they need fighters. I think now is the best time to to really just kind of stay in shape. Stay ready. Is that kind of the reason why you’re like out there being vocal? Just in case, one of these opportunities slide into place. Well, sir joe everybody knows a pretty boy he’s known for loud now, big talk, he backs it up. I backed up five fights in a row, i’m not a fighter. I’M an entertainer a fighter is just stuck to one vision: fight an entertainer. Does it all fighting acting singing modeling dancing, you know promoting, be able to do it all. You know if you say hello, i’m a oh. I put i’m a magician, but you know i knew the term okay, i’m a musician, but i do every instrument you’re more valuable than the guy. Who plays the drum okay? How good you but yeah? How good would you with the vocals how good you were? The drums are excellent on all of them. You become a a more valuable asset to that company and i’m ready to go i’m vocal on twitter a lot because that’s just who i am as a person. I’M on a firefight win streak for a reason, because i back it up. I fought for the biggest organizations in the world. Besides the ufc and and cage warriors and one championship, and i won on all the circuits, i fought them come back, they had one. I fought up in bama and uk and hostile territory twice. I won both fought for bellator. I won them both you’re not going to be able to stick me in the contender series. Why contender series are pretty much for nobodies who’s just coming out the woodwork me. I’M a seasoned veteran, i am known people know who i am most people who are usc fans might not know who i am, but the bellator fans definitely know who i am so. I transition into the ufc i’ll become a bigger household name than rated r superstar anthony pretty boy. I love it man i like that. I find a lot of people nowadays, especially in the ufc, are really just kind of not really calling their shots, not really picking anybody else. Just doing it respectfully – and i think guys, like conor mcgregor guys like colby covington, are really kind of setting president for what needs to be done, and i think you’re a great example there as well saying there’s more to this than just being a fighter. You have to be marketable, you have to sell yourself um. I guess what’s your message for for guys who are who are coming up? Who may be, you know not getting the opportunities they need, how? How can they be marketable? How can they sell themselves whether it be on social media interviews? What would you, what would you tell them to do to really get their names out? There engage with your fans, especially on twitter instagram, engage because when you engage and you give people acknowledge everybody. Oh man who’s this guy i’ve. Never oh he’s a fighter. Oh wow, he seems cool. Let me follow him. Let me like his pictures. Same thing goes for your twitter. You got ta, engage the things you got, ta give them what they want. The fans you’re broke. Mma fighting is a broken sport, the broken major sport. There is no one’s nobody in a roster when you think about the mlb. You know: um asia, um hockey, national hockey league nba, the nfl soccer. When you say, okay, your minimum contract is three to five hundred thousand dollars a year, you’re at a twelfth man on the nba team, you’re, the twelfth man you play zero minutes, but you still get your base or you’re the 53rd or 54 player on the football Team, you get no ball, you get no run, but we’re going to give you your minimum 300 000. Look at every minute. They don’t do that. You know you look at the growth of it but yeah, but there’s no there’s no liability backed up on what’s working with the fighters, there’s guys who’s fighting for so many years. I mean you can’t blame john jones john jones been fighting since he was young. You know it’s been undefeated for so many years that count dq doesn’t count, but imagine if jon jones went to wwe yeah he’ll become a bigger name house, more of a household thing, a better start in wwe he’ll be a bigger star, a period than he would In mma imagine conor mcgregor transitioned over to wwe yeah. You know so. People got when you’re when you’re starting off and you want to get known. You got to engage with your twitter fans. I do it all the time i engage with celebrities. You know they, like my posts, yeah, you know i engage with other ufc fighters. I engage with mick and shawn shelby and nick maynard. I let him know that who i am, that okay who’s this guy with the present he’s not signed with nobody, but i see that he has a bellator okay. Is he silent know, but i make that present to be known like this is who i am? I talk [ __ ], i make it happen. Call me if you need yeah. I think that’s a there’s, a great message there, especially for people coming on the up on the upswing. They really need uh to make it make themselves known, and nowadays, fighting on the regional circuit isn’t enough, you have to be vocal, you have to get out there do interviews, uh talk to fans like you said, and really just make sure that people are noticing. You did that thunder series. Yesterday yeah, i watched it so you’ve seen that guy. You know that one guy that was just outstanding that everybody’s been talking about yeah. Remember, michael gonzalez, that fought yesterday. He lost me and michael gonzalez had a big instagram war. You know we talked about fighting, but i was going to get paid because we’re gon na pay what twenty five hundred dollars just to fight you and i’ve been fighting lauren like come on, so he gets his chance to go to ufc. He lost chance. How ready are you you know he broke in that fight, not to talk back about bad about the guy props, for him going in there on the short day notice, but he broke he broke down. He lost him in the mentality in this fight. You fight this. This is going to break you and the reason why a lot of these fighters give up in the fight because they’ve never been broken before they kick everybody ass or supposedly the people that they kick their asses. A lot of these guys out there fighting is fighting fighting on regional shows where they’re fighting guys, who are only four one and five one and six two and seven. You know i’m saying you dominate those guys, but then, when you fight a guy, it was like 10 at one you’re like oh chef’s, got my hand to you it’s different now. This has nothing to do with mike gonzalez, i’m just saying just people in general yeah. You know because he went in there and he performed as a warrior. Just like everybody on on that roster, you know. So it’s about how prepared are you mentally if you’re there mentally you’ll be ready? You’Ve talked about being an entertainer and not just a fighter. Right now, it’s really weird time because the person you’re trying the people you’re trying to entertain are the fans and they can’t even be in the arena. As someone who uh you know, feeds off that feeds off the crowd’s energy wants to perform for for the crowd. What’S it like for you, you know just you know, obviously i’m sure you’d like to get back in the octagon, but i’m sure the same or octagon or cage whatever it happens to be, but i’m also sure you’d love to do it in front of a sold Out arena not an empty empty arena, so what does that? What does that do for you i mean: are you going to sit this out? Are you going to wait? Are you just going to get back in there and how do you make up for the fact that the arena is empty? It does i look it like this right sure joe everybody’s fought once in their hometown and their amateur pro circle right. I never did once i never once fought. I’M from the bay area. Alameda is where i’m from oakland arena is my spot. I’Ve always had to fight someone from san jose in near city amateurs. I had a fight in sacramento stockton, fresno by celia la i have to go as a pro to budapest to ireland to england. I had to fight people in their backyard. Do you think me fighting without a crowd is going to change any of that? I’M used to playing the triple h road being the bad guy being booed, hey better off without you fans boom. Let me just focus on my god. I don’t need you because every time i’m fighting someone, i’m fighting the hometown guy doesn’t bother me. You know. I’M used to that i’m! Okay! With that you know, fans are not, but when i do come out with the fans, oh the best believe they will love me at the end of the night, simple, so there’s a big fight coming up in a couple weeks. Uh, arguably, the biggest fight of the year, in my opinion, the biggest fight of the year and one of the biggest, maybe of all time in dc dc versus steep a3. What’S your thoughts on it, who do you think is going to win it dc? Is gon na dominate him unanimously, because why he gon na wrestle he’s just gon na wrestle. He’S not gon na make this mistake, go off in the career in. Would it win? It doesn’t matter how you get the win, get the win retire, you’re good! You know i i trained with dc uh, twice a couple times: good guy funny, stand-up guy, you know, he’s a really cool guy and just overall like man, he he deserves he’s putting that work. You know he’s putting his dues he’s done, what he’s done and he’s ready. You know i give him the unanimous decision, i’m not going to say tko or a split. I give him a unanimous because he’s going to use his wrestling to get it done so i’ll. Ask you a couple more questions and i’ll. Let you go i’ll. Ask one mma one one non-mma one! So the first one is the platform i built in mma was kind of built based on making matchups after fight. So i do like, after a fight i’d be like jim miller, should fight so, and so is there one person whether it be an mma or outside of mma who you would die to fight? That’S definitely nate diaz me him me. Him have a bad feel together. We don’t like each other bad blood between us too. We see each other on the streets we going at. It doesn’t matter where we at bad blood between us. We both swung at each other at a bellator event. You know bad blood. Where does it stem from? I think a lot of when i it was because i beat his uh teammate chris avila at bellator. I showballed it rubbed it in her face because i’m the pretty boy i do what i want and i do what i do and he got mad through a water bottle. At me, six of his friends ran up on me. He swung at me. I swung on him no one got hit, but you know bellator staff was in the way to prevent it and from there on, we just don’t like each other last question man and then i’ll. Let you go for for uh for mma fans for people who are, who are your fans? How do they? How do they get a hold of you? Are you active on video games? What sorts of things you do to to stay active uh outside of mma um? I’M active on instagram anthony underscore pretty boy. I’M active on twitter very active on twitter now anthony underscore for real and facebook anthony pretty boy taylor, all right man. Thank you for the time. I appreciate it. Hopefully i can see you out there sooner rather than later. Uh doing doing entertaining man appreciate it. So thank you. Thank you on the show, all right man, all the best stay safe, keep washing your hands, don’t catch anything man! Absolutely, sir! Thank you.