This Saturday night at the Fitz Tunica Hotel & Casino in Robinsonville Mississippi. V3Fights 59 is set to go down with the Main Event featuring a battle of the big boys as Shea Taylor takes on Jahsua Marsh for the V3Fights Inaugural Heavyweight Title.
AllianceMMA.com spoke with Shea Taylor leading up to his fight this weekend.
Beginning his fight career in late-2015, Shea Taylor has made his way up the regional rankings ladder fairly quickly. He won the V3Fights amateur heavyweight championship in March of 2016, and has since gone pro where he is 1-0 in sanctioned bouts.
Taylor says his MMA career began as a means of keeping himself busy. A DeSoto County Correctional Officer at night working 3rd shift, Taylor looks to MMA as a new form of competition during the day following his organized sports career.
"I was a football player and I wasn’t very good at it. When I got done with school I was looking for something to do and I found MMA. I kinda wish I had quit football sooner because I’m a much better fighter than I am football player."
That he is. As someone who wasn't highly recruited coming out of school, Taylor has proven his athleticism by winning impressively inside the cage and establishing himself in the Mid-South region. Taylor points out that he has always been someone who wants to win at everything he does.
"I have a very real competitive side to me. Football and MMA may be a lot different, but there is something that is very similar between the two that I like and that’s getting out there and hitting someone as hard as you can."
Taylor was elated to find out he had an offer to fight for the V3Fights heavyweight title, and he is going into this fight the same way that won him a V3 belt in the past.
"Man, it was insane to find out about this opportunity. I had the V3 amateur heavyweight belt, but I only had that for one fight. I went pro right away afterwards and now after just one fight to know they have enough confidence in me to give me a title shot--It really is awesome. I don't turn down fights, and I definitely wasn't turning down this opportunity."
Taylor has fought for multiple promotions around the MidSouth thus far in his career and he was quick to acknowledge the professionalism with V3Fights.
"I’ve fought for all of the MMA promotions around here and I can honestly say I like V3Fights the most. They have a nice production going, better matchmaking, better announcers, and all of my friends that come to see me fight say they enjoy it the most too."
An all too obvious segue question once Shea mentioned his friends was to promptly ask which one of them gave him the nickname "Babyface." Simultaneously laughing and answering, Taylor explained.
"(Laughs) Pretty much all of my guys at the gym. One day I had a massive beard and I just decided to shave it off and I came in and they were quick to talk about it. I think it's hilarious."
Moving on to more serious matters like his matchup this Saturday, Taylor seemed open to all situations once he steps into the cage at the Fitz Tunica. He was particularly ready to test his ground game against the former NAIA National Wrestling champ Jahsua Marsh.
"Well, I have a jaw that has been tested and proven, so I’m gonna let ‘em throw if he wants to. From my understanding he’s a pretty good wrestler and I’d love to test that out with my Jiujitsu. Honestly I stack up with him pretty well. I’ve always been the shortest guy in the cage as a heavyweight. I’m only 6-foot, so I’m used to it. I’ve beaten guys like him plenty of times, but this should be one hell of a fight."
Before wrapping up our conversation with Shea, we gave him an opportunity to make some shoutouts.
"Shoutout to all of my brothers and sisters at the southern county sheriffs department. All of my people at Fight Clinic and Memphis Judo and Jiujitsu, my family, my girlfriend Jaime, and lastly my cousin Matt Ward who just beat cancer. This fight is for all of you."
Limited tickets for V3Fights 59 are still available. Go to Cagetix.com/V3 and order yours today!