FightTicker.com Exclusive: Pre-Fight Profile on XFC Fighter C.T. Turner

One of the matches that I'm most looking forward to at this Saturday's XFC 8: Regional Conflict event in Knoxville Tennessee is a middleweight match-up between Julio Gallegos (1-0 Pro/8-2 Am) and CT Turner (6-3 Pro/6-2 Am). In Turner's first fight at middleweight (Turner fought all of his other MMA matches at Light Heavyweight), he looks to turn the tables on Gallegos, who handed Turner a loss in Turner's fight as an amateur. In this fight between two hard-hitters who have an earned mutual respect, as my buddy Mike Menninger said in his profile of Gallegos, this fight has all the makings for Fight of the Night.

Check after the jump for the full profile on Turner as well as videos of some of his previous fights.

When a friend of mine initially brought Highlander MMA to my attention, after mentioning Highlander MMA founder and current XFC Head Trainer Mike Yanez, the next name that came up was C.T. I remember him exclaiming, "Man, Highlander has this one guy who is a beast at Light Heavyweight. His name is C.T. - he's a hard hitter and has a great ground game." After seeing some of the numerous videos of C.T.'s fights and grappling matches on YouTube, some of which you'll find below, I had to agree. I was able to catch up with Turner via phone to discuss his upcoming match with Gallegos as well as his thoughts on his still young MMA career.

For those of you who read my semi-live blog from XFC 7, you'll remember that C.T. got caught on the wrong end of a head kick from Ovince St. Preux. However, quick to get down to business when I asked him if that loss changed the way he prepped for this fight, Turner replied, "It brought to light a bad habit. Next question." On a side note, Turner, who has been training with St. Preux's upcoming opponent Ombey Mobley feels Mobley won't make that same mistake and predicts a victory for Mobley via a Ground and Pound KO in Round 1.

Turner's MMA career thus far - 6-3 as a pro and 6-2 as an amateur is somewhat surprising in that he only started training about two years ago with Mike Yanez and the Highlander Fight Team and relocated to Tampa to train at the XFC facilities when the opportunity presented itself. Turner describes his life before MMA as one with no direction, "any which way but loose," but he feels his fast-tracked MMA career is what he needed to do to survive and keep himself motivated. Turner views his MMA career as having had a great run so far. He commented that he's had more fights than many other pros starting out and that he views his losses as learning experiences, "kind of like paid training at the workplace. You wear a suit and tie, I wear shorts and a cup."

Discussing the move to middleweight, Turner feels it's made him better in all aspects of his fight game. He jokingly commented that he hadn't been at this weight since he was 12 years old, but more seriously remarked that he feels faster and just as strong as he was at 205, noting that the improvement in cardio comes naturally with the weight loss as there is less weight to move around. He also noted that his flexibility has improved as well. He spoke to his diet as playing a big role in the drop, telling me that "I feel like a skinny white girl."

Never one to forgo an attempt on humor, when I asked him about his thoughts on Gallegos, Turner replied "He bangs, he bangs," parodying a popular song from a few years ago.

However, as I stated before, the respect shown by Gallegos was reciprocated by Turner. When asked about how he was feeling going into the fight, he stated, "Relaxed, another day at the office. But there's more anticipation because Julio was my very first mma fight two years ago and my first loss. We have a lot of respect for each other. Nothing personal, but winning is what I plan to do, with extreme prejudice. I'm sure he's thinking the same."

Wrapping up our interview, Turner wanted to thank Brawl and Maul, Highlander Fight Team, Mike Yanez, and his team in Tampa.

With Turner looking to bounce back in the XFC's second show in Knoxville, I wouldn't be surprised to see this fight as a three-round war between two of the toughest guys on the card. Regardless of how the fight goes, it's going to be an exciting one.

For more information on the XFC and the full fight card for this weekend's event, check out the XFC's website.

Here are some highlight videos from some of Turner's previous fights.

(Originally posted on FightTicker.com)

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