Louis Taylor once tried and failed to qualify for “The Ultimate Fighter,” and if not for an injury, he would have competed inside the Ultimate Fighting Championship cage in 2015. Taylor stepped in as a short-notice replacement for Costas Philippou and agreed to meet Uriah Hall at UFC Fight Night 59. However, a week before the fight, Taylor sustained an injury and was forced to withdraw. As a result, his contract was terminated.
Taylor went on to post two straight wins before being signed by the World Series of Fighting and losing to David Branch, then the promotion’s middleweight champion. None of it matters now. Taylor fattened his bank account with a $1 million check when he scored a 33-second knockout on Abusupiyan Magomedov in the 2018 Professional Fighters League middleweight tournament final.
As the man they call “Handgunz” basks in the glory of his life-altering victory, here are some of the numbers that have come to define him:
8: Years that have passed since he tried out for “The Ultimate Fighter 13,” only to fail to make the final cast. The tryouts were held on Nov. 4, 2010 while the actual show premiered on March 30, 2011.
1: Round needed to beat Ricco Talamantes and complete a successful professional debut at an International Combat Sport Federation event. It happened on Nov. 9, 2007 in Taylor’s hometown of Chicago.
4: Victories without a loss to start his career. After defeating Talamantes, Taylor went 3-0 across three different promotions. Strikeforce called soon after.
2: Appearances under the Strikeforce banner. The now-defunct promotion pitted him against more experienced competitors in Nate Moore and Joe Riggs, both of whom struck Taylor into submission.
2: Outings in Bellator MMA. Taylor enjoyed a more successful stint with Bellator than he did with Strikeforce. He fought and knocked out Ryan Sturdy at Bellator 14 and Joe Vedepo at Bellator 84.
6: Consecutive victories -- the longest such streak in his career. The run stretched from Dec. 14, 2012 to July 30, 2016.
29: Seconds needed to choke out Cory Devela at WSOF 29, as Taylor authored the fastest submission finish in the promotion’s history.
10: First-round finishes to his credit.
0: Back-to-back losses in his career. Taylor knows how to rebound after a setback. He has been defeated only four times in his career. Apart from the aforementioned Branch, Riggs and Moore, he was also bested by Perry Filkins in a regional promotion in New Hampshire.
14: Stoppage wins as a pro. He has seven wins by submission and another seven by knockout or technical knockout.
39: Years of age. Taylor was born in Chicago on May 12, 1979 and attended Eastern Illinois University, where he competed and excelled in wrestling.