A Road Traveled Together – Axworthy and Cox Return to MMA
It is not often that you have two mixed martial arts with a layoff of two years between fights. There is even less of a chance that the last time they fought was against each other. It is even more rare that they would train for their comebacks together. However, that is the case for Chad Cox and Travis Axworthy.
Back in June 2008, Cox beat Axworthy by submission at Phoenix Fight Promotions: Last Man Standing. Now both fighters are training together at Fitplus and will both compete at W-1: New Ground this Saturday in Halifax. Axworthy will go in against local boy Jeremy Josey while Cox gets Nordine Taleb who trains out of Montreal. Top MMA News asked them questions to see what took them from that night in June ’08 to now. While both stories are far apart at first look, you will see they had similar journeys to get back in the cage
Thoughts on going into the fights with Jeremy Josey?
Axworthy-I feel good but I don’t know a whole lot about him, but he is a Titan’s guy so you know he is good. We will just see when we get in there.
Why have you not fought in over two years?
Axworthy-I moved to Halifax and I have been over here at Fitplus for about two years but it has been off and on due to other commitments. For the last eight to ten months, different fights have fallen through and finally one came through.
Now you are originally from PEI, why did you decide to make the move to Halifax?
Axworthy-Part of the excitement is being with a bigger team. I love Team Bueno but there are more guys here (at FitPlus) to train with on a consistent basis. The actual reason for the move was because of the girlfriend. She was going to school at the time here. It was a perfect fit and here we go.
Now that you have got to live and train in Halifax, how do you think this has stepped up your game?
Axworthy-I guess we will see in the fight is the real thing. I think I am a whole different fighter than two years ago. Not to say my training was bad before, but before we trained it wasn’t actual jiu jitsu. I still feel like a rookie in it but hopefully it helps.
Now coming in the fight you have a four fight losing streak, plus you had the two year layoff. Do you think ring rust will play a factor?
Axworthy-I kind of think of it as my first fight again but I still remember all the experience going in before so there won’t be the jitters as much hopefully. I have to admit two years is a long time. I am not worried about it but you never know till you get in their how awkward it is going to feel or if everything comes together.
Thoughts going into the fight against Nordine Taleb?
Cox-I feel legitimately really good. I have been training my ass off, I have may diet going, feel like I am in good shape, weight is on schedule. I actually feel real good about this fight.
Have you gotten to study much on Taleb?
Cox-I was up at Tristar a couple of times, some of the more veteran guys were mentioning his name as someone to look out for. I think he has got some physical attributes, seems really explosive. I am just assuming that he is good everywhere and we will go with that.
Now you have had the two year layoff, what is the reason for the time off?
Cox-I had ACL reconstruction on my right knee. It is good now though. Taleb is a tough guy but I think I have this one.
How much do you think ring rust might play a factor into your match?
Cox-I have competed in all kinds of sports. I just have not done MMA in a while. I have done kickboxing bouts and competed in many grappling tournaments. Its just competition. I already seen the fight in my head, I picture the forum, I picture me and him so it is just going to go out there and it is just going to be the same thing. I don’t think (ring rust) will play out that much.
Now a lot of your early fights were out in BC, are you from there originally or how did the story play out to you coming to Fitplus?
Cox-I am originally from here (Nova Scotia) and I was just doing the traveling thing. I picked up MMA in Alberta and then moved out to BC to pursue it. I met up with TJ Grant and Scott Maclean at a King of the Cage event when TJ fought for the title against Gary Wright. After the fights, we got to talking and said I am originally from here and did more talking. The gym I was with out there fell through so I came home and came here at Fitplus.
Now you are still a young guy, is this fight a way to make up for lost time?
Cox-I definitely feel so but I have not been complacent. I am here training six days a week for those two years. I feel my growth has come a long way.
While both guys will be looking to make up for lost time, both know it will not be easy to turn back the odometer. With the hometown Halifax crowd behind them, they will showcase what they can bring to the cage on Saturday.