Congratulations to Jeff Monson, the OntheMat Submission Grappler of the 2004!
Over the next few days we will reveal the OntheMat awards for 2004, including Jiu Jitsu Player, MMA fighter and memorable moments.
OntheMat.com is happy to announce the 2004 Submission Grappler of the Year (No Gi): Jeff Monson of the American Top Team. There were a lot of strong candidates for this title in a year of standout performances, however we felt that Jeff Monson stood out and deserved this award.
1) Let's look at Jeff's accomplishments and see that he has been extremely active for the entirety of 2004. He has arguably had a banner career year. Check out this INCREDIBLE resume for 2004!
Jan 4th Wins Bud Cup Heavyweight Pro Division
Feb 7th Wins NAGA Superfight against Xande Riberio (avenging previous Submission loss in GQ
February 28th Submission Wrestling Open (Abu Dhabi Tourn.) Beats Pe da Pano by passing his guard in the final seconds to win. (Avenging previous loss in Abu Dhabi)
March 6th Basically screwed out of first place in the Arnold GRacie Submission Championship by above mentioned Pe de Pano
May 22nd Wins NAGA Chicago 175/over Expert Div.
May 29th Wins 205/over Texas Sub. Challenge (pulling guard on all 4 opponents)
June 12th Wins Nashville Open subbing 2 out of 3 opp.
June 28th Wins NAGA FL. Expert Div.
Aug. 8th Wins NAGA Battle of the BEach NJ Expert 200/up
Nov. 8th Wins GQ Vegas Adv. 210/over div.
December 11th Wins GQ World Series Absolute Division
We might have even missed a few tournaments!
In addition to which his considerable accomplishments in submission grappling, Jeff also managed to:
Win 2 Boxing matches
Go 4-0 in MMA this year:
June 5th Ironheart Crown Win over Don Richard (choke
August 28th AFC Brazil defeated Carlos Clayton by decision
Oct. 15th Euphoria Tournament over Pat Stano TKO
December 18th Cage Warriors Fighting Championships defeats highly regarded Tengiz Tedoradze by rear naked choke.
And along the way, he found time to coach a local high school wrestling team for basically zero money.
2) Jeff Monson was already a very successful Submission Grappler with one one championship under his belt and numerous placements. Yet the buzz about him was that he was a boring (albeit effective) fighter, who tended to get the takedown and then simply pass guard and hold for the victory. Then Jeff joined the American Top Team and began to learn and incorporate a more Jiu Jitsu based grappling game plan. At first he had mixed success, as successful grapplers who are apt to change their style tend to find out, Monson had a lot to learn and wasn't always successful in incorporating the new style, as evident by some high profile losses in previous years. However, Jeff stuck with it, kept an open mind, and kept learning and eventually completely transformed himself as a fighter making the style his own (which is extremely rare). The fighter who once labeled as boring spent much of 2004 SUBMITTING his opponents and avenging previous losses. Jeff Monson may be unstoppable now and has emerged as one of the most exciting (and in some ways most unpredictable) fighters around.
3) Jeff Monson is an all around nice guy and one of the most approachable people in this sport. He seems to have trouble finding his hotel room however...lol.
Jeff has officially opened an American Top Team branch in Washington, where he will be teaching with Dennis Hallman. To find out more information call 360-754-8501
There were many other worthy candidate for Submission Grappler of the year. but we felt that overall in light of his accomplishments Jeff Monson deserved the honor of being named the 2004 OntheMat Submission Grappler of the Year. Congrats Jeff!
In the next few days we will reveal the OntheMat Jiu Jitsu Player of the year (Gi), OntheMat MMA Fighter of the year and have a 2004 year end wrap up and summary with the most mentionable happenings. Stay tuned...