Jeremy Horn hasn’t fought in the UFC in four years. His return to the octagon has been a long time coming, and he’s approaching his UFC 54 main event light heavyweight title bout against Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell as the opportunity of a lifetime. Horn’s manager, Monte Cox, spoke with MMAWeekly about the match up with Liddell, and Jeremy’s preparation for it.
“This whole thing is just so odd. It’s like the stars aligned. Just the fact that we got the fight is amazing. The fact that everyone has gotten behind the fight is equally amazing, and talking to Jeremy it’s like something went off in his head. He went hey this is my chance. You know I’ve got a chance to prove everybody wrong, and show people what I can do, and part of it is I just wouldn’t let him do it half way. I’ve worked with Billy Rush, who gets [Rich] Franklin ready, and we made a deal, and we sent him out there. Rush is right at his side for ten weeks. He started off with a week of puking everyday, and training like he’s never trained before. Now Billy keeps calling me saying you’re not going to believe how this guy, how he’s responding.” Monte Cox told MMAWeekly.
The stories out of Salt Lake City about Horn’s training are interesting, to say the least. Monte commented, “If things don’t go his way it won’t be because he took it kind of half way, or tried to just get through with as little effort as possible, and he’s done that on a lot of fights. This time, for sure, he’s training like he never has, and it’s going to be interesting. I don’t think any of us have ever seen Horn at 100%. I don’t think he’s ever given us that opportunity. This time I think we will.”
Monte added, “You know what? Jeremy’s the kind of guy who can turn it up or kind of go on auto pilot, and he can go on auto pilot for five rounds no problem. He’s done it numerous times, but he’s on auto pilot. He’s not pushing the fight, and that’s been his problem. If you look at his loses, he had five loses in overtime, and it’s not so much that he just didn’t push enough, it should have never went to overtime. The same thing with the Babalu fight that you saw in Denver. Instead of coming out and just taking the fight, he came out and waited for Babalu to give it away, and Babalu just didn’t do that. By the time he started getting Babalu in trouble with the triangle, then he hit him with the knee…everything kind of went against him when he turned it up, but he should have turned it up from minute one. He didn’t do that, and he knows. You know? Believe me, we pointed it out on some of those mistakes that he’s made, and we’re just not going to have that kind of mistake. He’s going to able to go all out for twenty-five minutes, and we’ll see if Chuck can do the same.”
Cox went on to say, “I talk to Jeremy everyday. I talk to Billy, and I’m just getting updates on how the things are going, and what he’s doing to him, and stuff like that. Right now I’m just getting information from the trainer, and the nutritionist. That’s the other thing. Jeremy prepares for his fights by drinking Mellow Yellow, and eating candy bars. Not for this fight. Billy claims that by the time August 20th comes around we’ll see Jeremy with a six pack.”
Horn is not only training hard, he’s focused like never before. Monte stated, “So much of this is mental, and right now Jeremy 100% believes he’s going to go out and beat Chuck Liddell. Adding the physical part, and nutrition part, and all of that is just things to help him in that direction, but it’s all in your head. He 100% believes he’s going to beat Chuck again.”
In closing Monte Cox said, “It’s just going to be a great fight. my thing is I want Jeremy to go out and give 100%, and see what happens. If you give 100%, and it doesn’t work then you’ve got nothing to look back on. You know? In the past he’s gone out, and when he hasn’t won you can always look back, and say you know would it have helped it you actually, you know, put the time in and trained, and ect. ect. You know, there will be no excuses. I’m just a believer that Jeremy’s fought a lot of good guys. Fought a lot of good strikers from Anderson Silva to, what’s his name from Holland, Gilbert Yvel, and no one’s been able to wobble him, knock him down, do anything like that, and Chuck’s got one awesome right hand. I mean some awesome power in his hands, and we’ll just have to see, but no one’s been able to do it yet, and if Chuck doesn’t knock him out I don’t think Chuck can beat him.”