#1 Jeff Monson
Jeff Monson makes the world a
more interesting place.
Many people drift into being MMA
fans. After catching bits on the telly they maybe pick up a DVD and then
finally go to a local show. We all love a knockout. Itís what weíre
brought up on. Whether it was from watching Bruce Lee, Marvellous Marvin
or geezers in the pub car park, weíve all developed an appreciation of a
solid strike followed by the thud of a dropped runner up.
The ground game is essential to
any serious MMA fighter, but it doesnít have the instant appeal for the
casual observer. Be honest- a technical ground battle has been the
signal for many a trip to the bar / fridge / bog. Grappling takes time
to get into. The longer and closer you watch it, the more you grow to
appreciate it. The thing is though, you need to make that investment.
Youíve got to want to learn more. In these days of SKY plus and itchy
fingered youths with the attention span of a crack whore goldfish ,
youíve got to be something really special to turn people on to the
finer points of ground work. Step forward Jeff Monson.
Jeff ĎThe Snowmaní Monson is a
top submission guy. Heís an Abu Dhabi Heavyweight division winner and
with a splendid MMA record- but that isnít enough to make you a hero.
Monson has style. He makes grappling gripping.
Fast transitions. Position. Canít
lock it in. Switch. Canít get an arm. Try to pass. Look. Fake once,
twice. Twitch. Bang- itís on tight. Youíre tapping baby. Every second
the fight is on the floor he is working for the win. You canít take your
eyes off the man. You donít only want to watch his fights. Whenever
Monson has been on TV- you can bet the numbers are going to be up at BJJ
His speed and intensity are off
the chart. When The Snowman gets his victim in a spot, he puts his heart
and soul into it. The guy looks like heís going to explode - and I donít
mean pop a blood vessel or something. I mean literally do a Scanners and
blow up. If Monson slipped his hooks in for a rear naked choke while I
was at ringside, Iíd be expecting a Shamu style soaking with his blood
and brain matter at any second.
They way Monson looks is another
drawing card. See a 5 ft 9Ē heavyweight and you think that guy is in the
wrong division. When youíve seen him leave a series of Goliaths on the
canvas with confused looks and aching limbs you think- I want to learn
how to do that. OK, heís 17 stone plus, but that makes him even cooler.
And what if he has come out second best to some top level guys. If itís
records or style- give me style every day of the week.
Jeff Monson does not look like an
everyday person. Thing out of the Fantastic Four? Perhaps. A snowman? A
really crap, scary one maybe.
People like the way Monson looks.
If youíre ever in a room with little kids, they love Monson when he
comes on the screen. They see him as some kind of big friendly cartoon
character (see also dart player Andy Fordham and English football barrel
scraping Peter Crouch for this effect).
Whatever age you are- there is no
doubt that Jeff Monson is an extraordinary looking man. The bull neck,
the pumped to bursting physique- the tattoos. Ah yes- the ink. Monsonís
tattís, or to be precise, the philosophy behind most of them is the
reason why a large number of people canít stand The Snowman. For every
fan there is a hater who canít get past the politics. Those who spout
that Monson is stupid, naÔve, a hypocrite, subversive, Anti-American and
if he likes anarchy so much why doesnít he build a time machine travel
back to 1976 and sniff glue with Sid in the toilets at the Roxy.
Inked on his chest is the black
and red star of anarcho-syndicalism. Jeff Monson is an anarchist. He
became politically aware while at college. After completing a Masters is
Psychology, he became a counsellor working to improve the lot of mentally
ill people. This was at the time of substantial welfare cuts in the
USA, which is the kind of environment Iíd guess does nothing to soften
your political views.
I hear a lot of people giving
Monson stick along the lines of Ė if heís such a big anarchist, how come
heís covered in sponsorship?
The fact is, if you speak out
about any issue, youíre going to get judged more harshly. We seem to
expect higher standards of anyone who comes out as an environmentalist /
Christian / nice bloke and there is an air of glee when they are
revealed to have slight failings that mean they are imperfect losers
like the rest of the world. Hip, hip hooray.
Monson speaks from the heart.
Other fighters have made political statements from the UFC octagon and
worn T-shirts bearing political slogans about the war in Iraq. They
werenít challenged to defend their positions or booed by the frat boy
crowds. Iím guessing they didnít have the Secret Service searching their
gym and house as a result. It seems we only allow people to speak out if
they say exactly what we agree with and they are totally in tune with
the values of our society- which isnít really speaking out at all. More
like singing along. Whether you agree with him or not- I think that he
should be applauded for having the balls to stick his head out of the
Jeff Monson- Ace grappler Ė Short
Heavyweight Ė Switched on caring type person - Irritant to those who
probably deserve irritating-
Jeff Monson- hurtbusiness
I support our troops. I show
that support by demanding that we bring them home from Iraq.
I am an anarchist,
someone who would like to do away with all class hierarchy in society
and the institutions that promote this inequality.
I'm not some sort of conspiracy theorist, I'm not talking about how the
government is trying to hide UFOs. I just want to do away with
hierarchy. I'm saying that our economic system, capitalism, is
structured so that it only benefits a small percentage of very wealthy
people. When I was travelling in Brazil, they had us staying at a really
posh hotel. Outside the hotel there was a mom sleeping on the sidewalk
with her two kids. That's when reality hits you. What did that woman
ever do? Who did she ever hurt?