Jeremy Horn: 19 years, 117 fights, 0 injuries
Jeremy Horn appeared recently on Submission Radio for an eye opening interview. In a sport beset with injuries leading to the collapse of major cards, where CTE is a constant worry, Horn was asked how many injuries he has suffered in 19 years and 117 fights.
“None,” he said. “I’ve had zero injuries and zero surgeries.”
“In my fight with Anderson Silva about 10 seconds into the first round when I tried taking him down, I pulled a groin muscle real bad. That's why if you see the rest of that fight, I ended up kind of limping around like Frankenstein.”
“As far as surgery goes, I've never had any kind of surgery. I got a couple of stitches on my forehead once because I was training and I shot a takedown on a guy and my head hit a metal bracket on our cage and split me open pretty bad.”
“I’ve never had any surgery, never broken any bones. Pulling my groin muscle with Anderson Silva was by far the worst I’ve ever done. Coming in second place to that is probably a black eye.”
Another major problem facing the sport is use of performance enhancing drugs, which came to a head when Anderson Silva failed a test. Horn believes technique trumps speed and size, and that Anderson Silva's legacy is damaged, but that it shouldn't be.
“I imagine it does, but I don’t think it should,” he said. “Just because he’s done so many amazing things that you know were not because he was bigger or stronger than his opponent. And the biggest thing people will say is 'well it’s not about being big and strong, taking steroids means you can recover faster which means you can train harder and more.' Well, that’s only if you’re pushing the extreme physical side of things. You’re telling me you can’t sit down and watch tape, and learn? You can’t loosely, slowly, drill stuff and learn? You know it’s only how hard can you push, how physically demanding you can push yourself? But yeah, I think it’s sad that it may hurt his legacy a little, bit because I don’t think it should.”
“Honestly man, my view on steroids is a little different than most. I don’t care. I don’t think it changes much, I don’t think it effects much. You're bigger or stronger or whatever, I don’t care. Like I’ve said it before, technique wins fights. Steroids don’t give you good technique.”
“I think they’ve always been around. They're getting bigger now obviously because there’s more money in it, but they’ve always been around. Back then they were very, very common because people didn’t really know good technique as much as they do know, so they were seeking something to find an advantage. So strength, and power, and speed was the advantage. So you know, gotta get on steroids. But now people are still looking for an advantage, and really now the only advantage is get smarter, get better, get more technical.”
Horn was less kind when asked for the first word that comes to mind when thinking about Jon Jones.
“Arrogant,” he replied.
“I don’t know, it’s hard to say 'cause I don’t know him personally, so I can only gauge by what I’ve seen of him in the media and in the spotlight, but I don’t know, he just seems very very arrogant to me. You know, he went through a long stint where he was claiming to be something that he wasn’t it seems, claiming to be a lot more 'righteous' and 'holy' if you will; and then a lot of these negative things started coming up and popping up to reveal that what he did behind closed doors was nothing like what he professed to be, you know? It’s not a whole lot of thought put into it, but that’s kind of mostly where my opinion comes from.”
“He’s certainly a talented fighter, but I don’t think he’s anywhere near as good as he thinks he is.”
Horn defends his SCS light heavyweight championship vs. Tony Lopez on 28 March 2015 at Sugar Creek Casino in Hinton, Oklahoma.
“My advantage is obviously that I’ve been doing this for 30 years,” he said. “There’s nothing he's gonna do that I haven’t seen, and I’m better than him.”
“Technique is king. I've fought some of the best in the sport and beat some of them, lost close fights to others. He's not better than me.”
“I’m going to be able to beat him because I’m better than him. And you know luck is always a factor, I can always play into it, but if you don’t fight stupid and reckless, you can minimize how much luck is a factor. And I always fight with a mentality of minimizing luck or bad luck in any case.”
“I don't see him being a problem. I’m going to beat him with whatever he gives me with first.”
Lopez has a history of holding chokes extra long and punching after the stoppage.
“I didn’t really know that,” he said. “I’m not a very big fan of that kind of stuff – you know, depending on the circumstances. Sometimes that kind of thing it happens, but I mean if it’s like blatant things, kind of like what Paul Daley did with Koscheck, that type of thing, it’s going to be a real bad night for him, 'cause I don’t like that.”
At 39, with his own Elite Performance Gym in Utah, retirement is a natural question.
“As far as retiring goes, what person wants to stop doing what they love? You know as long as they’re physically capable of doing it, you want to keep doing it. So I mean I don’t really know when I’d retire, but at the same time I don’t want to just kind of fizzle out and finish fighting people that are like well below my level, and I mean I don’t want to be the high school kid that’s going back to kindergarten and picking fights, you know? I need to still be fighting people that are a challenge. So as far as retiring goes, I don’t see any foreseeable – and I’m sure I will eventually just kind of say 'ok I guess I’ve done enough' and move on. I don’t see myself making a big show of retiring.”
So expect to see Horn fight for a while longer, an extraordinary example of the cure for MMA's injury rate – protect yourself at all times, and rely on technique. In short, fight smart.