For a fighter who has become almost defined by how often he competes – sometimes multiple times in a single day on numerous occasions – for veteran Jeremy Horn to take two years off from the sport would have been unthinkable not too long ago.
But that’s exactly what Horn did in 2012 and 2013. But it’s not because he was banged up because of his 100-plus fights or anything, but rather to work on the business side of his life.
“The thing is, I wasn’t banged up to begin with,” Horn told MMAWeekly.com. “I’m never banged up or ever hurt.
“I wanted to take a little bit of time off so I could work on the gym and try to build up the program. When I’m fighting regularly it kind of takes a big hit, so I wanted to take that time off.”
Horn returned to fighting last year with victories over Dan McGlasson and Brian Imes, raising his current winning streak to four and giving him wins in 11 of his last 13 fights.
“It’s always good to fight,” said Horn. “I was always kind of anxious. I was training pretty regularly, but there’s a big difference between training regularly and training for a fight. It was nice to get back into it and do what I love to do.”
“I just need to fight smart,” Horn said of facing Lopez. “He’s a tough guy who has been around a while, but I feel I’m better than him.
“He’ll typically do not so well in the early rounds, but then will pull it out in the later rounds when his opponent gets tired. I don’t see that happening with me. He’s not going to be able to drag me down enough to make me tired. I never get tired. I fight smart. I conserve energy. I just don’t get tired.”
With over 100 fights to his credit and approaching 40 years old, Horn isn’t one to look too far ahead of himself, but would rather focus on what’s in front of him and come what may.
“I never really thought about (fighting this long),” said Horn. “I just did it because it’s what I liked to do. I never thought if I’d last or the sport would last. I was a young kid just having fun.
“I just go day by day. I’m not much beyond a 10-year-old kid. I wake up and plan my day, and tomorrow is tomorrow. I don’t think much beyond that. Right now, I’m just fighting where I want to fight because I enjoy it.”