The Ultimate Fighter Aftermath: Jesse Taylor and His 5 Biggest Wins
Post TUF Record: 13-4
Jesse Taylor may be the greatest of all the combatants to ever appear on the Spike reality show “The Ultimate Fighter," and not secure a multi-fight deal.
For those who have forgotten, Jesse “JT Money” Taylor, first earned serious recognition and acknowledgement from his peers on the seventh season of Spike’s reality show “The Ultimate Fighter."
Unfortunately, with the positives also came the negatives, and JT Money was eliminated from the competition by Dana White after sipping a bit too much of Grandma’s cough syrup and embarking on a destructive night in Las Vegas; unfortunate, considering Taylor carved a path through the house all the way to the finals.
Most MMA pundits wrote Taylor off right there, siding with White and his assessment of Jesse, whom he deemed too immature to invest in. But White and many of us supposed specialists where drastically wrong in our premature evaluation of JT Money.
Since being offered a single shot in the UFC, which he lost to C.B. Dollaway at UFC Fight Night 14, Taylor has amassed an impressive 13-3 record. While that’s not necessarily an unfathomable feat, numbers like that can contain a slew of subpar opponents (with a minor challenge sprinkled in here and there) for most young fighters.
That’s not the case with Taylor, who’s been paired opposite some impressive opposition. Most impressive is the fact that Taylor’s picked up a few really impressive wins along the way rather than fumbling in the face of adversity.
5. Drew Fickett (TKO Round 1)
In his first fight following his official release by the UFC, Taylor met the extremely experienced and notoriously tough Drew Fickett in the main event of Total Combat 32.
Taylor prevented Fickett from even escaping the first round, as he landed a big elbow that opened up a sizable gash on the forehead of Fickett. That perfectly placed elbow paved the way to an impressive technical knockout in just under two minutes.
Fickett entered that bout a heavy favorite with a record of 35-6 and memorable wins over Mark Weir, Kurt Pellegrino, Josh Koscheck, Kenny Florian and Josh Neer.
4. Jason Day (Submission Round 1)
Back in February of last year, Taylor appeared in another headlining fight, this time taking on the heavy handed Jason “Dooms” Day at Aggression MMA 2.
Jason entered the bout just months after his release from the UFC (where he earned stoppage victory over Alan Belcher before being released after consecutive defeats), and many predicted a brutal knockout for the tough Canadian.
It wasn’t so for Day, who was grounded by Taylor before succumbing to a rear naked choke in the first round.
3. Murilo Bustamante (TKO Round 2)
Despite fighting at the advanced age of 43 years old (just 12 days distanced from his 44th birthday), Murilo Bustamante entered his Impact FC 2 bout with Taylor as a fan favorite.
Bustamante is a revered Brazilian combatant and former UFC middleweight champion who holds notable wins over Matt Lindland, Dave Menne and Ikuhisa Minowa. With that kind of résumé, it’s no wonder the man was picked by many to topple the former reality star.
Again, Taylor defied the odds, pressuring Bustamante, steadily wearing down the Brazilian Top Team co-founder before the fight met its conclusion just over two minutes into the second round.
Bustamante has not fought since.
2. Tom Watson (Unanimous Decision)
Tom Watson may be the toughest guy you’ve never heard of.
With a professional record of 14-4, Watson possesses impressive physical strength and dangerous striking that’s led him to victories over Matt Horwich, Travis Galbraith and most recently, Murilo “Ninja” Rua (who retired following their bout).
During his fifteen minute clash with Taylor, Watson looked outclassed.
Taylor spent a large portion of the fight controlling the action on the ground. Watson proved resilient, and showed some sound submission defense as he fought off multiple submission attempts, but positional control was completely owned by Taylor, who earned an obvious and well deserved unanimous decision.
1. Denis Kang (Submission Round 1)
Denis Kang has fought for nearly every major promotion you can think of, from the thriving UFC to the defunct Pride Fighting Championships.
Along the way he’s picked up some high profile wins and earned a reputation as a well-rounded mixed martial artist capable of winning fights with his fists as well as his submission abilities. Neither strength would come into play when Kang met Taylor in the main event (this Jesse Taylor guy seems to headline a lot of events!) of Battlefield Fight League 8.
Taylor disposed of Kang in a mere 1:57, and utilized what has quickly become his trademark finisher, the rear-naked choke.
The victory leaves JT Money boasting a professional record of 19-6, and solidifies the dominant wrestler as one of the best competitors to ever appear on “The Ultimate Fighter” and earn walking papers practically immediately thereafter.