04-01-2011, 11:29 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Barrie, Ont. Can
| | Jeff Monson: “This is how I am and that’s the way it is.”
Jeff Monson: “This is how I am and that’s the way it is.” |
Posted by Brendhan Conlan
When talking about the top heavyweights in MMA it seems one man is often overlooked in the discussion though not for lack of accomplishment on his part. He is a former title-contender in the UFC who has gone 17-5 since parting ways with the organization in late 2006 including victories over a Strikeforce World Grand Prix semi-finalist and Ultimate Fighter winner during the span. He’s also only been finished once in the last nine years while submitting the last five opponents he’s faced.
The afore-mentioned individual, as indicated by the headline, is of course Jeff Monson.
Monson’s run since a less-than memorable loss to Tim Sylvia at UFC 65 has been one of the more successful of any heavyweight not currently calling a major organization home and features notable victories over individuals like Kazuyuki Fujita, Ricco Rodriguez, Sergei Kharitonov, and Roy Nelson.
The 40-year grappler will look to continue his winning ways Friday night in the Sunshine State at Fight Time 4 against Tony Lopez, a 23-5 King of the Cage champ who has avoided the judges’ scorecards en route to victory twenty of twenty-three times.
“I like fighting for different organizations, travelling and that kind of thing, but I mean I think as this point it would be nice to settle down with an organization and fight for them,” the 40-year old explained of his decision to remain a free agent of sorts. “I have a good relationship with the UFC and am looking to get back at some point.”
“I’m definitely looking at the possibility of competing at 205. At this point I think you have to look at your career. I’m fighting and I want to be champion, I want to be the best. Is it going to happen at heavyweight? It’s gonna be tough. These guys are, like me, pretty quick and good except they’re like forty pounds heavier,” said the 5’9” American Top Teamer.
“So light heavyweight is definitely a thing I can make given my wrestling background and cutting weight, so making the weight isn’t a problem,” he continued. “It’s just finding the right opportunity. I’m not gonna just cut to 205, fight this guy here and this guy there and this guy here – I want to get established with an organization. That would go a long ways towards securing (the drop) in my head.”
Regardless of what his future may hold in terms of employment, opponents, or weight-class, Monson’s focus is clearly on his April 1 appearance in Fort Lauderdale against Lopez who fits the bill in terms of a larger foe given the Californian’s eight-inch height advantage.
“I think my grappling is really good and he’s got a reputation on the ground too so it’s exciting. He’s a tall guy and I’ve had some difficulty with tall guys in the past too so he obviously presents a few problems, he’s a tough guy,” Monson began. “But the motivation comes from the fact I like to win, I like to compete. You have a tough guy in front of you and you have to take the fight very seriously, and I’m training really hard for it. He presents a challenge and that makes it exciting for me.”
As far as Monson’s approach to dealing with Lopez’s size, “The Snowman” cited some improved Muay Thai skills enabling him to close the distance, saying, “There’s no secret about it – I’ve gotta get in. So (I’m) working on a lot of striking to get inside. I think I have an advantage inside, working my dirty boxing, so you could see a lot of that.”
In closing the 40-11 veteran with twenty-six submission victories gave thanks to his training partners at ATT, offering gratitude for the gym being there throughout his ups and downs.
“They’ve been there for a lot of hard times so especially them.”
As per usuall....link...full article
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