As a huge fan of the talent coming out of FIT NHB such as Tim "Dirty Bird" Means, Ray Borg, and even Charles "Krazy Horse" Bennet … I'm excited when I get the opportunity to work with their rising WMMA fighters such as Amber Brown and now I was blessed with the opportunity to work rising with amatuer fighter, Taylor Starling. Taylor, is with no doubt in my mind one of the future stars of women's MMA. She's young, ambitious, and is constantly improving. At 19 years old, Ms. Starling has fought 3 times as an amatuer with a record of 1-2, her win coming by a 27-second knockout. Her story is interesting and talking to her and reading throught our Q&A with her also shows us a bit about her character… she's focused. Let's take a moment to learn a bit more about this young Fighter on the Rise!
Tell us a bit about yourself, where did you grow up and what was life like growing up? (Family, school, friends):
I was born in Tampa, Florida and raised by my father. My dad always made the most of my childhood with what we had. We were always doing something, whether it was going to the lake every weekend or camping… we were always doing something! School was rough for me. I moved a lot. I moved from Florida to South Carolina then finally, my teenage years, I ended up here in Albuquerque, New Mexico… I was the outcast!! I was the kid that just didn't want to be there! But I worked hard and ended up graduating 2 years earlier than the rest of my class! I also moved out on my own at 15 years old, finished school, and got into working and fighting!
Were you involved in any sports as a youth in or outside of school?
I was really into softball when I was younger.. then I was on the high school drill team. None of those sports really clicked for me, not like fighting did!
What is your favorite child-hood memory?
My favorite childhood memory.. I'd have to say it'd be just playing outside. You don't see kids really playing outside any more and I just remember being outside… every day after school until the street lights came on. Those were the days!
Any interesting child-hood stories or fun-facts?
Haha this is pretty funny.. I broke my arm in elementary school..(the only bone I've ever broken) and I broke it playing monkey in the middle.
Getting involved in MMA:
How did you get involved?
I had a friend who had been doing BJJ and one day when we were hanging out, I decided to be brave and wrestle him and I actually hung in and he was tough! He asked if I wanted to come try it out.. so i did. BOOM! I was hooked and then I asked my coach if I can do something where I can punch people? I then added boxing/kickboxing in the mix, and the rest is history!
What discipline did you begin with and care to share a bit about your early experiences learning the sport(s)?
I gained a whole new respect. When you get into the technicality of fighting a lot goes into it besides just going in there and swinging.. it's a mental sport as well.
At what point did you know you were ready to step in the cage for the first time?
When my coaches told me I was. I always had the drive to be in there.. but to actually hear the words "You're ready." from your coaches for my first cage fight.. it just sealed the deal.
When the cage locked behind you in your first fight, can you recall what went through your mind? How did your first fight turn out?
I just smiled, you hear that cage lock and there is no turning back, and its amazing! Its just that final moment you've been working so hard for and you get to lay it all out there!! I lost my first fight by a head and arm choke. But I was out striking her… you just get caught! She was an awesome opponent, it was great to compete with her.
What are 3 things you've learned while being involved in this sport?
I've learned every fight is different, No fight is the same! I've learned a lot about respect and the mental aspect of the sport. I've also learned that you have to HAVE FUN! That's the biggest thing I've been told every time i've fought, to enjoy every second of it.
What gym are you currently fighting out of?
I'm currently fighting out of FitNHB
What is your current record (ammy/pro) and at what weight?
I'm 1-2 ammy strawweight (115lbs.)
Do you currently have a nickname in this sport? If so, what is it and why?
I do not yet. I'm waiting to earn my name. Although, I have been getting called BuckShot a lot by my coach, Tom, 'cause I go for the knockout punches!
If you could improve one aspect of your game, what would it be and why?
Everything. There is always room to improve all of my game. I don't like to say, "Oh I need to work on this or I need to work on that." because I have to work on everything all of the time. Gotta keep every tool sharp!!!
What is your most memorable experience as an MMA fighter?
Getting my 27 second knockout!!!
Any interesting stories to share pr learning experiences whilst fighting you would like to share?
Just getting to be with my team on all of the fight trips and doing what I love there are different memories created every fight. Its just all so much fun!!
If you could offer one bit of advice to an aspiring fighter what would it be?
Don't quit. Push yourself on the hardest days. Win lose or draw fighting is the best feeling in the world and it takes a lot to get in there and do it! Just never give up!!!!
Would you like to give a shout out to any sponsors individuals who have supported you?
I wanna thank my coaches Arlene, JJ, Tom, and Joe. These people really push me to succeed!! Also my whole wildbunch without my team I wouldn't be here! They also push me to succeed and work with me to make sure I can go as far as possible. Also want to thank my AMAZING sponsor Mei-li Fighting, Julie Luey has really been so supportive and dedicated to me and my fighting. I'm blessed with my crew!
What are your goals for the future in the sport?
I want to go as far as possible.. future champion right here!!!
What are your thoughts on the current state of the sport and where it's headed?
Being a female fighter I feel like I'm in the right place at the right time! Females are really taking MMA by storm and to be a part of that is really awesome.. MMA as a whole is taking off more than ever and its truly a beautiful thing.
If you could change one thing in the sport, what would it be?
Nothing. I love MMA for what it is!
Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
On the very top of my game!!! Still kicking butt.
Favorite type of Music:
I love gangster rap & Rock n' Roll
Favorite TV Show:
"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, then the world will know true peace."
Do you have any children? Do you plan on having any/more?:
No kids yet! But i want a lot of them one day! lol
Best day of your life:
Every day I wake up is the best day of my life.
I love to sing and dance. I'm not any good at it but I love to do it.
Who is your favorite super hero and why?
Sailor Moon, she was beautiful and kicked butt..
Facebook Page/Fan Page: Taylor Starling
Manager Contact (for sponsorship/fight inquiries): Jon Judy, Tom Vaughn, or Arlene Sanchez
Images in this Gallery Provided by Sal Gomez / Gomez Photoworks
About the Photographers
Gomez Photoworks / Sal Gomez
(gym images in article)
Panda Punch MMA
(cageside images in article)
We cover MMA news, do interviews, and are bilingual.
Follow us on:
Facebook: PandaPunch MMA
Instagram: PandaPunch MMA