The City of Las Vegas is home to many big names in the MMA world. Names such as MMA Legend Wanderlei Silva, former UFC Heavyweight Champion Frank Mir, former UFC Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture, UFC President Dana White and even the main UFC office our all located in Las Vegas. Many fighters come from around the country to train with some of these guys at their own gyms, or make a trip on down to the famous Tapout Training Center to improve their game and check out the greatness that is Sin City.
However, if you travel just eight hours northeast of Las Vegas to the much smaller city of Reno you will come across a young up-and-coming female fighter that is making waves across the country and catching the eyes of many. Her name is Taylor Stratford, or simply Tay to her friends and family. She is currently 6-0 and the Number One ranked female amateur fighter in the 145lb division.
Just last week at Tuff-N-Uff in Las Vegas, Stratford earned a first round submission victory that advanced het to the semifinals of an 8-Woman tournament that will crown a 145lb Women’s Champion. Upon returning to Reno, she found time in her busy schedule to sit down and answer some questions for us here at MMAValor.com.
1) First and most importantly, let’s introduce you to the readers. Give me your name and a little bit about you.
My name is Taylor “Tay” Stratford; I’m 19 years old and an amateur MMA fighter.
2) Now that we know who you are; when did you get into MMA and what inspired you to start training?
Last year I started training in September 2009 & my uncle told me he thought it would be fun for me so I gave it a shot. Personal reasons also influenced me, I was bullied a lot and threatened and this was a great way to release frustration and gain self-confidence.
3) How did your parents react when you broke it to them that you wanted to be a fighter? Have any feelings changed now that you’ve had some success thus far?
My dad supported me a hundred percent because he used to box, and my mom wasn’t too into the idea but it grew on her. They both attend every one of my fights and support me and encourage me and it all means the world to me.
4) Do you have any superstitions or rituals that you do before a fight?
I talk to myself, a lot. Like if someone were to overhear me they’d probably call me crazy.
5) Did you do any other athletics in high school?
I ran track since I was 9 years old and continued it throughout high school.
6) Who do you look up to? Who motivates you to keep going when you’re ready to call it quits?
I look up to everyone I train with. I think every single person is better than me at something so if I look up to them and work on it I can be as good as they are. My friends and myself motivate me a lot. My friends and I always talk about our futures with fighting and it’s always motivating to talk about.
7) Past or present, alive or dead, if you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be? What would you talk about?
My grandpa. We would talk about all that I’ve accomplished and how much more I can do & I think he would give me so many tips. It would be an amazing conversation that I’d never forget.
8) Many fighters have “cheat days” when they are dieting before a fight. Do you have a cheat day? What do you eat?
I love love love popcorn with hot sauce! Anything with hot sauce actually. Chalula to be exact! SO delicious!
9) What’s the most inspiring or best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Give your all – my grandpa.
10) Favorite movie quote and what movie is it from?
“I thought…wait a second, could it be. And now I know for sure, I just added 2 more guys to my wolf pack. 4 of us wolves running around the desert together, in Las Vegas looking for strippers and cocaine.” – The Hangover !! :)
11) When you’re not in training, or between fights, what do you like to do?
Hang with my best friend! We do anything and everything. We think that a camera crew should be following us at all times lol.
12) Do you watch much TV? What shows do you watch?
I love family guy! Literally I’m addicted to it. I could watch repeats forever.
13) If money was no concern, what would be your ultimate vacation?
A month traveling Europe!
14) In five years from now, where do you see yourself?
Dominating the women’s 135 division in Strikeforce ;)
15) Last one, what advice would you give to a young girl that wants to get into MMA?
Follow what you want to follow and make your dreams a reality. Listen to your trainers and stay focused. Remember every fight is another experience, win or lose, and make sure you gain knowledge from everything you go through.
Bonus: Feel free to shout out any sponsors, coaches, friends, or whoever you want to thanks.