“Take that, The Man!”
After more than 4 years wandering the wilderness, UFC veteran Jeff “The Snowman” Monson (42-11) will return to the big leagues on June 18th at “Strikeforce: Overeem vs Werdum” as a replacement against wrestling whiz Daniel Cormier (7-0). Cormier was set to face fellow undefeated heavyweight Shane del Rosario in a reserve bout for the HW Grand Prix, until the latter was TKO’d by a drunk driver last month.
Monson is now 40 years old, but age is just a number to self-professed anarchists, so he’s fought 12 times since the start of 2010 (including twice last month alone), and is currently riding an 8-fight win streak. He’s bounced around in pretty much every bushleague and Japanese promotion known to man since leaving the UFC in late 2006 (after losing a title shot against Tim Sylvia), going 19-5 with wins over the likes of Ricco Rodriquez, Roy Nelson, GP semifinalist ” target=”_blank”>Sergei Kharitonov, Jason “The Shitty” Guida, uber-can-smasher Travis Fulton, and former KOTC champ Tony Lopez, plus losses to Pedro Rizzo (twice), Josh Barnett, Travis Wiuff, and something called a Shamil Abdurahimov.
Since he walks around at a fireplug 5′-9″ and 230 lbs, Monson has been talking about dropping to 205 and making another run at either the UFC or Strikeforce since late last year, but somehow just keeps ending up fighting the big boys. Although Cormier outweighs Monson by about 20 lbs, at only 5′-11″ himself, he’s probably a chubby 205-er too. With 62% of Monson’s wins coming by submission, combined with Cormier’s decorated amateur wrestling career, this is sure to be either a sweet ground or shitty stand-up battle.
Monson’s apparently already scheduled to fight in France on May 28th against Latvian kickboxing crossover Konstantin Gluhov, but considering that’s exactly 3 weeks before the Cormier bout, I have to wonder if that match will soon be cancelled. Not that Monson hasn’t fought that frequently before (far from it), but one would think he’d want to be fresh for his Strikeforce debut… but then again, he’s not known for making wise decisions.
Though the Cormier/del Rosario match was to be a Grand Prix reserve bout, it’s as-yet unclear if Monson/Cormier will be considered as part of the tourney. The all-heavyweight main card for “Overeem vs Werdum” now looks like so:
GP Quarterfinal: Alistair “The Reem” Overeem vs Fabricio “The Joker” Werdum
GP Quarterfinal: Josh “Boldenone” Barnett vs Brett “The Grim” Rogers
GP Reserve: Valentijn “The Other” Overeem vs Chad “Sideburns” Griggs
Daniel Cormier vs Jeff “The Snowman” Monson
Gina “Cannoli” Carano vs Sarah “The Monster” D’Alelio