Whiteford out, Lapilus in vs. Siver on Oct. 4 in Stockholm
It was just another day for Taylor Lapilus. Get up at 5am, go to work, go to the gym, and repeat. Then the normal day wasn’t normal anymore.
“I was just lying on my sofa at home,” he said. “At first I didn’t believe what happened. I didn’t think the call was a real call. Then when I got my coach on the phone saying that it was true, I was really excited.”
That call – the one he first thought was a joke, then believed as real – was one asking him if he was willing to step in on two weeks’ notice to make his UFC debut against Dennis Siver on October 4th in Stockholm, Sweden.
The 22-year-old featherweight accepted, replacing the injured Robert Whiteford. He is now a UFC fighter.
“I’m proud to be a fighter because I trained so hard to reach my dream, and now it’s coming true, so I won’t let the chance slip away,” Lapilus said. “I am taking this opportunity to make my name, I’m coming to fight, and though I’m only 22, I’m an unstoppable guy.”
Owner of an 8-1 pro record, Paris’ Lapilus has only been training for three years, but he’s been a quick study in MMA, with six submissions and a three-fight winning streak entering his UFC Fight Night debut against Siver, a tough out for the best 145-pounders in the world, let alone a prospect making his first appearance in the Octagon, and on two weeks’ notice no less. Lapilus knows what he’s up against, but he’s ready.
“Of course I know Dennis Siver because he’s a well-known name in MMA,” he said. “He’s a really strong man, and he’s a great fighter with his punches and kicks. I have a lot of respect for him and it’s a big honor to fight someone like him. I’m going be ready for the challenge.”
As for fighting on short notice.
“The only problem is the time left just to get prepared and know the opponent,” Lapilus said. “This is a little tough, and it’s a short time, but I’m in good shape at the moment.”
And if you talk to his older brother, pro lightweight Damien Lapilus, Taylor has the goods to deal with the task at hand – not just physically, but mentally.
“I would describe my brother as a really hard worker, and that’s as a fighter and in his daily life,” Damien said of Taylor. “He wakes up every morning at 5am, then he does his job and then goes to the gym to train. He’s kind of a shy guy, but he knows when it’s time to get serious and get ready to put on a show.”
That time is on October 4, and Taylor Lapilus can’t wait for it.
“I’m a really patriotic guy, and in France, MMA is not received like it is in America,” he said. “I know that I have a big team behind me at the gym and my brother supporting me, and I’ve worked hard every day to become a great fighter. I know I’m one of the great fighters in France, and now I’m going to be the only guy living and training in France who is reaching the UFC, and I will do everything to stay here.”