Thanks to a hand injury to Thales Leites, MMA journeyman Jeremy Horn will make his return to the UFC to face Nathan Marquardt at UFC 81. It’s been almost two years since Horn set foot in the Octagon, submitting Chael Sonnen in the second round. For the man with over a hundred fights in his expansive MMA career, it’s an opportunity to prove to fans that not only is he still around, he’s still a threat to just about anybody on any given night.
The thing that’s always intrigued me about Horn, whose official record is 79-16-5, is that he’s not even that old. He’s thirty-seven years old and yet he’s been a consistent competitor since 1996. He’s the kind of guy who will fight anyone, anywhere, and on probably a couple of hours notice. I’m guessing that if you wanted Horn to fight your uncle as entertainment at your wedding, he’d probably do it if the money was right.
Asking him to come in and fight Marquardt is a tall order, though. Horn’s greatest asset is his ground game (and, to a lesser extent, his ability to avoid absorbing punishment), and Marquardt has dealt well with submissions technicians like Dean Lister and Joe Doerksen. It’s hard to picture Horn winning this, but at the same time you can’t count him out.