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Payton Talbott Explains Why He Chose MMA Over Career in Psychology

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Payton
Talbott’s admitted insensitivity might have had something to do
with him choosing a career in mixed martial arts over one in
psychology.

The undefeated
Ultimate Fighting Championship bantamweight prospect had never
trained in MMA until the age of 17 or 18, when he saw Conor
McGregor’s highlights while sitting at a restaurant. Talbott
was getting his bachelors in psychology from the University of
Nevada when he started dabbling in the sport.

“I have a bachelor’s in it [psychology]… I did general but towards
the later years I got super into the neuroscience courses because
they were more interesting to me. But I started out wanting to do
clinical…I got into that [MMA] when I was a senior in high school,”
Talbott said during an appearance on “The MMA Hour.”

“When I just graduated, I like didn’t have sports anymore, I was
just super bored. And I had always been interested in psychology,
so I just did both of those. I was an amateur fighter and pro
fighter while I was still in college getting my degree.

“I was never a fan of MMA until I started doing it when I was like
17 or 18… No I didn’t even know what it [the UFC] was until I was
sitting at a sushi restaurant and I saw Conor
McGregor highlights or something for some fights that were
coming up. And I was looking at it like, ‘There’s no way that’s
actually a thing, like people are actually allowed to fight in a
cage.’ And that’s when I started thinking about, ‘I’d like to try
that, I’m super bored.’ But I never knew what it was before
that.”

After seven to eight months of serious training, Talbott’s coach at
the Reno Academy of Combat approached him, proposing an amateur
debut. While Talbott’s MMA career had started during his college
days, he didn’t decide on taking it up as a career until he was 2-0
as a pro. What motivated the choice was his frustration with the
field of mental health. Talbott, who recently declared himself “not
sensitive,” also revealed that he “hates people’s problems.”
According to Talbott, most people dealing with mental health issues
don’t really want to help themselves.

“It’s just the mental health field,” he said. “Half of them don’t
really want to help themselves. So it gets really frustrating
coming from me, just the person who I am, just like a simple
problem-fixer guy. Try to give these people these tips or try to
walk them through how to get better and it’s just like at the end
of the day, they didn’t really want to help themselves. They just
want something to feel upset about. So I got pretty burned out on
that.”

In his most recent outing, Talbott defeated Cameron
Saaiman via second-round TKO at UFC
on ESPN 53 on Saturday.

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