Entering the year, Taylor had won four fights in a row, and with his win over Mutapcic, he was able to run his current winning streak to seven and more importantly secure a spot in Saturday’s WSOF middleweight championship bout against David Branch.
“I really wanted to finish him, but I was happy with the win,” said Taylor of his win over Mutapcic. “He’s one of those guys with a rubber neck, because I had him in a tight guillotine, but didn’t quite cinch it up enough.
“I’ll make sure next time if I get a choke, they’ll go to sleep if they don’t tap. But I’m happy for the win.”
As good as he’s been during his recent winning streak, Taylor told MMAWeekly.com that he feels he hasn’t hit his stride yet and he can get better.
“In MMA, I still don’t feel like I’ve hit my prime years,” he said. “I’ve got a new boxing coach and I’ve definitely worked a lot on my stand-up, and my wrestling is as strong as ever.
“With jiu-jitsu, I’ve actually taken a liking to the gi. I recently got my brown belt and I want to showcase my jiu-jitsu. My overall game feels better.”
After defeating Mutapcic in December and earning a shot at the WSOF middleweight title, Taylor (27-9) will finally get his shot this Saturday at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas against David Branch (13-3).
“He’s one of those fighters who isn’t horribly good at one thing – and if it he was, it’d be his jiu-jitsu – but he’s pretty well-rounded,” said Taylor of Branch. “He likes to play the range game and make it a technical fight, but I’m going to make it an ugly, scrappy, in-your-face grind from the get-go.
“I’m going to put a lot of pressure on him, non-stop and break that Branch.”
For Taylor, Saturday’s bout with Branch not only affords him the opportunity to claim a major championship, but also contribute to what he hopes will be one of the great careers in MMA.
“This is definitely going to put me on the map again and out of all my titles will be my most prestigious title,” said Taylor. “I can start building my legacy with this fight. I’m very ready for this fight.”