Eighteen year-old Stratford won the bout by unanimous 30-27 decision in what was a mostly stand-up brawl against fellow newcomer Elsa Magana in the 135 pound weight class. Stratford trains at the Reno Academy of Combat under former Super Fight Champ Rick Collup.
I recently caught up with amateur female fighter Taylor ‘Tay’ Stratford after her successful MMA debut at Ultimate Reno Combat ‘FALL BRAWL’ in downtown Reno, Nevada on November 14, 2009 in what many audience members called the ‘fight of the night’.
FG: How long have you been training MMA?
T-Strat: Just about two months now.
FG: What got you into MMA?
T-Strat: My Dad and My Uncle and friends.
FG: I heard you had to cut some weight for the fight?
T-Strat: Oh Lord, Try 15 pounds. Hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.
FG: Any advice on cutting weight?
T-Strat: Definitely, DO NOT wait until the last minute. Eat healthy always, even if you’re not fighting. Weigh yourself often and focus on the prize.
FG: What did you know about your opponent going into the fight?
T-Strat: I knew almost nothing. I knew her height and that she was coming from a gym with good wrestlers. I really didn’t want to know much about her though. That way I could come out not focusing on one aspect of the fight.
FG: Did you have a strategy?
T-Strat: My strategy was to win!
FG: How do you feel after winning your first fight?
T-Strat: I feel like a million bucks. It was better than any other sport experience I’ve ever had.
FG: Any plans for another fight?
T-Strat: I plan on fighting in January (2010).
FG: Any interests you have besides training MMA?
T-Strat: I love to run – great for the lungs. And hanging out with friends is always a must!
FG: Any closing thoughts?
T-Strat: Thank you to Rick Collup and the Reno Academy of Combat for the opportunity. Thank you to Elsa Magana, my opponent, for the fight. Re-match anytime.