Anarchist MMA fighter Jeff 'The Snowman' Monson faced off against wrestler Daniel Comier in last night's Strikeforce event.
Jeff Monson made his return to 'top-tier' MMA last night against Daniel Cormier on the undercard of the Strikeforce HW Grand-Prix Werdum vs Overeem event. The Snowman is known as such for snowballing through four Brazilian opponents in his debut as an unknown to win the Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) submission wrestling championships in 1999. ADCC is considered one of the biggest tournaments in submission grappling, and he again captured that title in 2005.
Monson has been fighting mostly in second-tier promotions since Pride 34 in 2007 but entered last night's fight on an impressive 8-fight win streak, and as current HW champ in both the ISKA and Strength & Honour promotions. At 40 years of age and with 42 wins from 53 fights, Jeff is a veteran to the sport, while Cormier is a top prospect in the Strikeforce heavyweight division, coming in with a 7-0 unbeaten record is his comparatively short MMA career. Cormier was an Olympic wrestler for the USA (in 2004, and had to pull out in 2008 due to kidney-failure) so posed a massive problem for Monson who has historically struggled when he can't take opponents to the floor.
Cormier was the aggressor from the start had the better of the first round exchanges when they traded and Monson was finding it impossible to play his trademark submission game while the fight stayed on its feet. Monson, with 26 of his 42 wins via submission, was having no joy standing toe-to-toe with Cormier, who displayed impressive striking throughout the fight, cutting Monson on his head early on in round 1.
It was much the same story in and 2nd round, and by the 3rd round, Cormier was really looking to finish, and had Monson backpedalling. Monson attempted a takedown but it was easily neutralised by Cormier. This sequence was repeated a minute later and was indicative of much of the fight.
After the final bell, a unanimous 30-27 judges decision went to the still-undefeated Cormier, who landed three times as many strikes in the three rounds as Monson.
What this defeat means for Monson's plans to drop to light-heavyweight remains to be seen. Better luck next time Jeff!