Despite having been in the fight game for over 10 years, Timmy Gorman did his best to stay under the radar.
For fighters like him and his fellow training partners, it was the work in the gym that mattered, not what came out of their mouths.
That all changed when he made onto the cast of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season 18, coached by Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate. He's since broken out of his shell, even called out Tate's boyfriend for a fight once TUF is finished airing.
The Iowa-native is hoping this upcoming season will lead to his big break in Ultimate Fighting Championship, even moving his training out to Alliance MMA after this past season was done filming.
Gorman spoke to MMAmania.com during an appearance on The Verbal Submission talking about staying under the radar, fearing a lawsuit from TUF producers and the how men and women got along under one roof in this exclusive interview.
Check it out:
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You've been pretty popular with the local news lately, having a big feature done about you by the Des Moines paper, even getting interviewed on the TV stations down there. How's that been?
Timmy Gorman: It's been pretty exciting, just getting a bit of exposure. I've been doing this sport for probably 12 years and never really been about the exposure or getting my name out there. I was all about, it was almost a common rule among the fighters at my gym where we only cared about grinding away, training hard and becoming the best fighters we could be. It wasn't about the showboating or marketing. It was just about the fight game. Now that I'm finally on the show and everything, I'm to a level where I feel like marketing yourself and publicity is just good for my career in general so it's a step in a good direction.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Do you think your decision to avoid marketing yourself was one of the big reasons it took you so long to get noticed and get this big break?
Timmy Gorman: Yeah, that's possible, but to be honest with you, the biggest reason I hadn't made it to the next level of the UFC is the importance of people's records. If you have too many losses on your record, it's not like a football season or basketball season where you hypothetically lose every game or match one season, you can still come back the next year, win every game and win the championship. With MMA, that loss stays there forever. That's the biggest flaw in the fight game right now. There's so many great fighters that deserve to be in the UFC like Bryan Green, Victor Moreno, but because back in the day they were all about fighting whoever just to prove themselves, not giving a shit out tough somebody was, they don't make it to the big show because they took losses earlier in their careers. It haunts them. I think they need to reevaluate how they figure out who makes it to the next level. There are guys who get there who have good records who aren't as good.
Going back to your original question, I knew your record had a big part in making it to the UFC and I didn't want to take that fluke loss, so I had it planned out to train, get as good as I possibly could before I started taking more fights. That way, when I did make it to the UFC, I'm not just one of those "one and done" type of fighters. I'd be peaking and just keep winning fights. I wanted to make it last when I'm there, not blow it and never get a shot again.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You're heading out to California to train at Team Alliance. What's it like to make that big change in your career, perhaps like taking a leap of faith?
Timmy Gorman: Well to be honest with you, I went out there six months ago and trained there for about two months to work with one of my old friends from back home, Jeremy Stephens, who's fought in the UFC 17 times or so. He invited me to come out there and I trained hard with those guys. They have a lot of really good fighters in my weight class. The talent level is so high in my weight class and while all the guys in Des Moines, all the good guys are 170, 185, 155 and I feel like I need to work with better guys at my weight class so I get a more realistic perception on how people in my weight class are moving around.
I'm really excited to get out there, start training with Alliance again. It's like a family out there. Everyone is real tight, real cool and when it comes down to training, I think they're the best in the world.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Okay, this is a less serious question, but something that's been brought up quite a bit actually, since this is the first season with both male fighters and female fighters, is there any potential there could be some "TUF babies" coming around in nine months?
Timmy Gorman: Oh yeah, and some! Easily. I mean, it's biology, man. It's human nature. You put men and women in a house together, it's chemistry. It's the laws of nature, it's what happens man. I don't think the cameras are gonna stop anybody.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): I've heard about a specific speech where they round up all the contestants and sort of put the fear of the devil into you guys about spoiling the results of of the show, threatening with lawsuits et cetera. Can you talk about that?
Timmy Gorman: That's really funny that you actually heard about that because every time one of my friends or somebody asks me what happened on the show and I tell them I'm not allowed to say anything until the show starts, and they always give me this look and go, "Maaaan, shut the fuck up. It's just you and me! What do you mean you can't tell me. Am I not your bro?" I have to explain like, "Man, you don't understand. These people are sharks, they'll come at ya!"
I guess it started after the first round of tryouts. One of the producers came out and said, "If anybody says anything, you guys are under contract and we will sue you for five million dollars." I just remember getting this big grin when they said that and thinking, "Five million dollars? I don't even have a sliver of that," (laughs). So that was kind of funny, but it definitely scared the crap out of me.
When we found out we were gonna be on the show, I remember we were in the van and somebody had tweeted something. One of the producers came out and said, "Whoever tweeted this, take it off right now. I swear to god we will sue you." She was like, "These people sue for fun. I'm not kidding you. They get off on it. They love it."
I'm just keeping everything to myself and it makes it a little more fun, hypes up the show and has them wanting to watch it a little bit more.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Thanks Tim. Any last words or shoutouts?
Timmy Gorman: I guess just my name is Timmy Gorman. Check me out on Twitter @TimmyGormanMMA. I promise all my fights are exciting and I try to end every fight with strikes. I'm not into the whole new age MMA thing of dancing around, scoring points. I'm about the old school fighting with the original guys like Chuck Liddell, going in there and trying to beat the shit out of somebody. That's my style and I go out there to actually fight. I try to go and put a hurting on somebody.