In a sport as physically draining as mixed martial arts, you rarely see a fighter make it past their late thirties, but “The Snowman” Jeff Monson doesn’t plan on melting any time soon as the 40 year old UFC veteran prepares to fight world class wrestler Daniel Cormier on June 18th at Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum. TheGarv.com’s Kalin Johnston had a chance to catch up with Jeff to get his thoughts on the fight as well as talk politics.
KALIN: We are joined right now by Strikeforce heavyweight Jeff Monson, what’s new in your life Jeff?
JEFF: Excited to be back fighting for a big show and getting prepared for a tough fight against Cormier. I'm training hard and feel rock solid.
KALIN: You of course have that fight with Daniel coming up in June which is sort of a veteran versus up and comer fight. Do you plan on using Cormier’s inexperience against him?
JEFF: Of course that is part of the plan. I always try and find a weakness in my opponents to give me an advantage in the fight. It's exciting for me to prove that there is no substitute for training and experience.
KALIN: Daniel recently suffered a deep cut next to his eye in training. Have you seen pictures of the cut yet, and if so, what are your thoughts?
JEFF: I have not, but wish him a speedy recovery.
KALIN: You are known for your grappling and Cormier is known for more specifically his wrestling. If Daniel is able to take you down, how comfortable would you be fighting him from the bottom position?
JEFF: Good luck taking me down! However, I'm really comfortable on the ground regardless of the position. When you've been in the game as long as I have you become a well rounded fighter as opposed to a “this” type of fighter or “that” type of fighter. My total ground game is the best its ever been.
KALIN: Are you offended that you were not offered a spot in the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, even as a reserve?
JEFF: I would have loved to have been offered a spot, but the decisions were what they were. Strikeforce has some fantastic guys in Grand Prix and I would have been honored to have been one of them.
KALIN: At age 40, is this now or never for you? Would you consider retiring if you were to lose this next fight?
JEFF: Not at all. I feel great. In this game very few people go without loosing at some point. You go into every fight hoping to win and preparing for that but at the end of the day it burns in me to compete and I will keep doing that for as long as I can.
KALIN: You have expressed wanting to return to the UFC. Now that Strikeforce is Zuffa owned, and now talks of a possible GSP/Diaz fight, do you feel that with an impressive win next month you could be moved over?
JEFF: I loved working with the UFC and left on great terms with them. My overall goal is to back in the UFC as either a Heavyweight or Light Heavyweight so, yeah, I would hope to be given that opportunity.
KALIN: Following your infamous arrest for vandalizing the Washington State Capitol, you were ordered by court to pay $21,894, but as of January of this year you had reportedly only paid $421. Have you been able to get this situation taken care of?
JEFF: Several of the facts reported were inaccurate; however, I've been working with my advisers to finalize all items with respect to any issues outstanding.
KALIN: Looking back, could you have taken a better route to express your feelings, or do you feel this is the type of extreme you had to take it to?
JEFF: I go to demonstrations, marches and meetings to protest. I was extremely opposed to the war and still am. This one just made headlines because of all the consequences associated with it. While I don't like the negative ways it has impacted my life it brought publicity to the cause I support. I think I made my point.
KALIN: How do you feel Obama is doing as our president?
JEFF: I like his ideals and it bothers me when people call him a socialist. I think the post itself makes it difficult to get any real change accomplished.
KALIN: Do you feel the Bin Laden murder is a conspiracy or legit? Why?
JEFF: I'm not a conspiracy theorist and I believe they got him. I think we get tricked into believing that one person is behind all the evils in the world. Al Queda is only the 4th largest in terms in members of resources and all you hear about is them when there are 3 larger more dangerous terrorist organization out there.
KALIN: Thank you for the time Jeff. Is there anything you would like to say in closing?
JEFF: Thanks for your time and I appreciate your support. I'd like to thank my managers, ML Management, Tina and Ray, ATT Coconut Creek, IHP, La Parilla, and all my coaches and trainers.