UFC Veteran, 2-Time ADCC Champion Jeff Monson Calls Out Gordon Ryan

An unexpected player has entered the Gordon Ryan sweepstakes. Former UFC heavyweight title challenger and two-time ADCC champion Jeff Monson has made a (quite respectful) call-out of Gordon Ryan.

And in a comment to Ryan’s post, Monson further clarified his call-out:

For those saying I’m looking for a payday, you should hush yourselves- you obviously don’t know anything about me. When you feel you’re the best at something, when you love the fight, it’s in your DNA to seek the best to beat. For a long time I was competing in and winning grappling world championships and every grappling tournament in between as a hobby while I worked as a psychologist and fought mma as paying jobs. That’s my point. I was training everyday to be a fighter (besides the psychology work) not training for grappling, but was still the best. Yes, it is a call out but it’s a compliment- if I didn’t think Gordon had a claim at being the best ever I wouldn’t bother. Gordon- we can set a date and I’ll come to the gym and we can have a match with Renzo (he’s a good friend) as the ref. I know everyone in the world wants a bite out of you and you should be honored the grappling world thinks that highly of you. But I’d still beat you in a match

Indeed, Monson is an incredibly accomplished grappler. He earned gold in his weight division at the 1999 and 2005 ADCC Championships, made it to the podium at three other ADCC Championships, and was a 2007 IBJJF no-gi world champion.

Monson is much more than a grappler, though. The 51-year old sports a deep combat sports record, including a 20-year, 89-fight professional MMA career. In 2006, Monson unsuccessfully challenged Tim Sylvia for the UFC heavyweight title.

Ryan is a three-time ADCC gold medalist, and is widely considered the current best no-gi grappler in the world. He has been out of high-level competition since March 2021, citing ongoing health issues.

The chances of a Gordon Ryan vs. Jeff Monson match seem slim, but Ryan is at least giving it some attention, so that may be worth something? Considering that Ryan’s last opponent in an exhibition match was UFC welterweight and BJJ brown belt Philip Rowe, Monson doesn’t seem so far-fetched.

Ben Coate

Ben has been involved with grappling, whether through wrestling or Brazilian jiu-jitsu, essentially his entire life. After wrestling throughout his childhood, Ben found Brazilian jiu-jitsu as a young adult and quickly fell in love. He has been training for over ten years and currently holds the rank of brown belt, and remains involved in both the MMA and BJJ scene. Ben has been writing about combat sports since 2017. He has interviewed and profiled some of MMA's biggest stars, including multiple UFC champions.

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