Jeff Monson was one of the most successful American grapplers in history and he has recently come out to say that he believes he could beat the current most successful American grappler, Gordon Ryan. Monson is an incredibly experienced MMA fighter with 88 fights on his professional record, 61 wins, and 36 of them coming by way of submission. He had several fights on the regional circuit first before being called up to the UFC for his promotional debut against Tim Lajcik all the way back at UFC 27 and although his career in the world’s premier MMA organization was relatively short, he definitely made an impact.
Monson went 1-2 in his first UFC run, losing only to MMA legends Chuck Liddell and Ricco Rodriguez. He continued to fight in smaller promotions and kept racking up wins against opposition who were outmatched against him. After rattling off fourteen straight victories, he was called back up to the UFC again to take on Branden Lee Hinkle at UFC 57: Liddell v Couture 3. He went on to win that and two more fights in the octagon to earn a shot at the reigning Heavyweight world champion Tim Sylvia and although he put up a fantastic fight, he ended up losing a unanimous decision and asked to be released by the promotion in order to pursue a match with Fedor Emelianenko that didn’t come to fruition until five years later.
Although he dropped a decision to Emelianenko too, Monson continued fighting in Eastern Europe and taking on some of the best fighters available. Monson won his first ADCC world championship title back in 1999 when his MMA career was just starting to take off and he returned to the podium for silver medals in 2000 and 2001. His second world title came in 2005 just before he was recalled to the UFC and he even managed to complete his collection by earning a bronze medal in 2009 too.
As Jeff Monson explains in his comment to Gordon Ryan, he achieved his first world title while working as a psychologist and his second while doing MMA full-time. For Monson, grappling was always a passion that he loved but it wasn’t ever something he could actually support himself by doing. With advancements in the sport and increase in viewership, Ryan is now able to train full-time for ADCC and has become one of the greatest grapplers in history by doing so.
Gordon Ryan shared the comment he received from Jeff Monson in a post to his official Instagram account: