a season of “Redemption,” which featured the return of fighters who fell short once before.
In Taylor’s case, his downfall was one of the lowest moments in the show’s history. He’d advanced to the Season 7 tournament final in 2008, only to ruin the opportunity of a lifetime by getting himself kicked out of the house because of some unruly drunken behavior. Taylor received a second chance at the UFC but failed miserably, succumbing to a first-round Peruvian necktie to C.B. Dollaway at UFC Fight Night 14.
It took Taylor 36 professional bouts to finally make his way back for “TUF 26,” and his crowning achievement – finally at the age of 34 – was met with universal praise.
Which is why Wednesday’s news of Taylor’s potential U.S. Anti-Doping Agency violation hurts. As our editor in chief, Dann Stupp, pointed out on Twitter, the news is especially heartbreaking in light of a particular quote from Taylor following his emotional win in July:
USADA process has to run its course, but looking back, this Jesse Taylor quote is now pretty bittersweet. https://t.co/N7pXvViHuF
— Dann Stupp (@DannStupp) September 13, 2017
“Maybe they’ll make a movie about it one day,” Taylor said after the FS1-televised co-headliner at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena on Friday. “It’s not about the money. Don’t get me wrong – it’s going to change my life and my kids’ life. But it wasn’t really about the money. It was about the story – about redemption. That’s what it was about. I just wanted to show my kids, to be a good role model.
“Like, ‘Hey, you mess up in life, but you fix it, and you keep going.’ A lot of people mess up in life. I think I relate with people in that sense. I’m a pretty regular guy. Nothing too special about me. I just keep going.”
Taylor obviously is entitled to due process, but damn. I don’t know about you, but reading that quote felt like a punch to the gut in light of today’s news.
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