Jeff Monson has announced his retirement on his official Instagram account, a little over twenty years after he first won the ADCC World Championships. He started out as a NCAA Division I Wrestler before expanding his horizons and competing in MMA all the way back in 1997. Over the next two decades of relentless competition in combat sports, Monson went on to compete for the UFC, PRIDE, DREAM, and StrikeForce, where he racked up an incredible record of 61-26-1. He also won an IBJJF World Championship gold, three FILA Grappling World Championship golds, two ADCC World Championship titles along with two silver medals and a bronze.
Throughout all this time, he also competed in professional Boxing three times and was awarded Russian Citizenship directly from Vladimir Putin himself. Jeff Monson has truly had an incredible career and at the age of 49, it’s finally time for him to call it a day and declare his retirement.
“Yesterday while training I suffered a complete tendon tear that will require surgery. It’ll be a year rehabilitation to be full strength. So the reason I’m posting this is because this is it for competition or even high-level training. I have had eleven surgeries over my career and the body has just finally had enough. It is the most difficult thing for a fighter to admit he/she can’t do it anymore. It’s part of who you are. Consequently, many fighters hang in too long and tarnish their legacies or suffer injuries.
It’s very hard to admit you’re not the athlete you used to be. I’m completely blind in my left eye from a fight a few years ago but continued fighting and suffered some defeats from punches I couldn’t see. I concentrated on jujitsu and had dreams of winning the worlds in 2020 but coronavirus canceled everything. Said I’d retire five years ago but I couldn’t because I always believed I had one more big win and successful tournament in me.
I feared walking away and regretting not having tried to the very last opportunity. Look back at the many many memories- winning ADCC in 1999 for the first time, fighting some of the greats – Chuck Liddell, Fedor, Barnett, Cormier and many others.”