by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
Following his disappointing loss to Matt Lindland under the International Fight League banner in September of this year, Jeremy Horn stepped away from the fight game and was unsure just what direction his future was headed. There was talk that he was taking some time off or even retiring. The latter was dismissed today and the former fairly short lived as it was announced that Jeremy Horn will return to the IFL ring on January 19th to face Hawaiian Falaniko Vitale according to Vitale’s manager, Ken Pavia of Pavia, Ciscone, & Associates.
Horn’s manager, Monte Cox, confirmed the fight as well. In regards to Horn’s re-emergence just four months after sequestering himself, Cox commented, “Well, I think Jeremy was just disappointed [losing to Lindland] and wasn’t sure what he wanted,” he continued, “Jeremy took some time off and I think he’s just ready to get back in there.”
The latter part of 2005 and early 2006 were not good to Vitale, who went through a 3-fight skid. He returned in October of this year to knockout Tony Williams to get back on track. In Horn, he’ll be facing one of the toughest tests of his career. But Vitale has a record of 21-6 with wins over Matt Lindland and Dave Menne, so this is no easy fight for Horn, either.
The fight will be the Super Fight on the IFL’s 2007 season opening event in Oakland, California on January 19th. Horn is currently the #9 Middleweight in the MMAWeekly Rankings.
The event was initially to be headlined by a bout between Ivan Salaverry and Eduardo Pamplona; however, Salaverry had a contract with the World Fighting Alliance, whose select assets were recently purchased by the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Fighter contracts were part of those assets, so until the UFC has determined what to do with those contracts, fighters like Salaverry will more than likely be unable to fight elsewhere.