by Jeff Cain
Monte Cox manages some of the top fighters in Mixed Martial Arts, including two that competed last Saturday night on the UFC 54 card; Tim Sylvia and Jeremy Horn. Monte spoke with MMAWeekly SoundOff Radio about Horn’s UFC 54 performance, and what his immediate future holds.
Monte jumped right into the main event light heavyweight title bout between Chuck Liddell and Jeremy Horn. Liddell put on an impressive display in his first title defense, but Horn’s toughness was obvious. He stood with Liddell for nearly four rounds, something no one else in the UFC has been able to do. “When I told Jeremy that when we were talking afterward, he actually just got pissed. He didn’t go out to prove that he could stand in front of people. He really wanted to win the fight, and he’s pretty bummed right now because things didn’t go his way really at all.” Monte Cox told MMAWeekly.
Further discussing the fight, Monte added, “The game plan, and I want to go over this game plan because everyone says what kind of game plan was that? The game plan was very simple. We can’t take Chuck down while he’s fresh. Not going to happen. We know that. He knows that. It’s just not going to happen, so the goal was to go out, stand with him, and try to go in and out, land some jabs, get him to throw some power shots, block them, dodge them, whatever, and try to wear him down. The first two minutes of the fight was exactly what we wanted to do. He threw at least four or five big shots that completely missed Jeremy, and it was almost like trying to lure in Mr. T in Rocky. We wanted him to be over aggressive, and try to knock him out. That being said, we wanted to do that for two rounds if possible, and then in the third round start attacking him with kicks and such. Try to land some body kicks, and then start looking for a way to take him down when he was a little tired.”
Monte continued, “All that when out the window when Chuck threw that straight punch, the second straight punch of his life. It went right down the pipe and drops Jeremy, and then all of a sudden Jeremy is having vision trouble, and we’re the ones that are in trouble. Chuck’s a heck of a finisher. I mean he smells blood as well as any body. Jeremy, to his credit, he was able to weather the storm, but it certainly changed things. It certainly changed the way things were going, but the goal had to remain the same. We had to get him into the third or fourth round. You know, to a place that he’s never been, and hope that he would tire, and give us the opportunity to get him to the ground.”
Jeremy Horn took a pretty good beating at the hands of Liddell. Monte was asked how Horn was doing physically. Cox replied, “Well, I mean he got beat up. You know? And went to the hospital. We had to make him do that. The only real damage was he has a hole in his septum…It was a little odd with as many shots as he took to the face that he wasn’t bleeding through the nose…His blood was going inside, so he was swallowing. There was a few times that he spit the blood out, but it was because of the hole. He was swallowing blood, and he did that for three rounds. He did it all night actually because there’s not a whole lot they could do for that, so that was probably the biggest ‘injury’ was the hole.”
Jeremy’s future in the UFC seems to be locked in at this point, and he’ll remain as a light heavyweight. Monte said, “He will stay in the 205 pound class…I can’t speak for Zuffa, but Jeremy was brought in to fight in the 205 pound class. You know that’s why he was brought in. They don’t need him at 185. They’ve got Franklin. You know they’re not going to cut Joe Doerksen. They like Joe, so we’ve already got two guys in that weight division. The other thing is he was brought in on a pretty nice contract, and the reason he was brought in is because there are a lot of matches at 205. Rematches with Babalu, Forrest, Couture. All of those are fights that he can more than compete in. And that’s why he was brought in because there were so many possibilities. And he’s being paid for a guy who’s fighting in the marquee division. You know?
Cox continued, “Would he go down to 185? Well sure. Would he ever fight Franklin? No…Why would they bring him down there where he and Franklin would clearly dominate, but yet never fight each other? We’re not upset with that. We knew what the deal was when we took it…I mean he just did better with Chuck than any of those other guys I just mentioned, so why all of a sudden do people think we can’t compete with them?”
The possible match ups for Jeremy Horn at 205 are seemingly endless. After watching UFC 54, no one can honestly question his toughness. He’s already beaten Forrest Griffin, split with Liddell, lost to Babalu, but only after having fought twice before that night, and lost to Couture. Any one of those rematches are interesting. All of which I’d like to see, but no matter what, it’s good to see Jeremy Horn back in the UFC.