Jeff Monson announces retirement from combat sports

Jeff Monson announces retirement from combat sports

The decorated grappler and MMA Practioner Jeff Monson announces retirement from all combat sports competition.

Monson revealed the news via his social media recently, in a since-altered post, and the transcription provided by an editorial at The Underground ( reads as follows:

Yesterday while training I suffered a complete tendon tear that will require surgery. It’ll be a year rehabilitation to be full strength. So the reason I’m posting this is because this is it for competition or even high-level training. I have had eleven surgeries over my career and the body has just finally had enough. It is the most difficult thing for a fighter to admit he/she can’t do it anymore. It’s part of who you are. Consequently, many fighters hang in too long and tarnish their legacies or suffer injuries.

It’s very hard to admit you’re not the athlete you used to be. I’m completely blind in my left eye from a fight a few years ago but continued fighting and suffered some defeats from punches I couldn’t see. I concentrated on jujitsu and had dreams of winning the worlds in 2020 but coronavirus canceled everything. Said I’d retire five years ago but I couldn’t because I always believed I had one more big win and successful tournament in me.

I feared walking away and regretting not having tried to the very last opportunity. Look back at the many many memories- winning ADCC in 1999 for the first time, fighting some of the greats – Chuck Liddell, Fedor, Barnett, Cormier and many others.

Winning the worlds in jujitsu and in grappling, ADCC again… But this is a tough sport on your body and in your head. The match I think about the most is losing the UFC championship to Tim Sylvia. I have achieved a lot in grappling but I wonder how things would have been different if I had won this fight.

I’ve played it in my mind a million times how I should’ve, could’ve, would’ve… I have had many great experiences in and out of the cage because of fighting. I’ve traveled the world and met such fantastic and interesting people. I was lucky enough to have great coaches on the best team on the planet on #American Top Team. Have opportunities now in Russia working with kids and the homeless to make positive social changes. I realize I am truly blessed, truly fortunate. 

Jeff Monson announces retirement

But all this came at a cost, not only with my body. Unfortunately, I cannot walk away with no regrets. I was away all the time and my relationships suffered. It is difficult not to be selfish when you are thinking of winning and your own success. I hurt my wife Jennifer and my kids very much. I can’t go back in time and change this. But as you get older you can learn from these experiences and try not to repeat them.

I want to say thank you to everyone that I met on this journey – people that helped me or just said hello, fans, fighters I went up against (I became friends after with several of my opponents), my team ATT, the many friendly faces in all parts of the world…. It is literally with tears in my eyes and a heavy heart I write this knowing there is no tomorrow- nothing to train for, no event upcoming.

I have learned that no matter what your profession or lifestyle – go enjoy life. Cherish the people who love you and don’t take them for granted. Travel and meet everyone you can – it is the best way to rid ourselves of silly prejudices. Be successful and healthy and I truly wish all of you happiness.

Jeff Monson

Monson leaves behind a storied legacy with his resume featuring appearances on the biggest stages in mixed martial arts. Jeff Monson has competed under banners for UFC, PRIDE, Cage Warriors, Sengoku, DREAM, Strikeforce, M-1 Global, and Road FC to name a few.

Jeff Monson‘s MMA record stands at 61-26-2 with his final MMA win coming over Alex Kardo via first-round north-south choke in October 2016. Monson’s last mixed-martial-arts outing was a draw against Nikolai Savilov in March 2017.

Other notable career highlights for Monson include headlining the final PRIDE FC event when he bested Kazuyuki Fujita via first-round rear-naked choke, putting together a sixteen fight winning streak leading into his aforementioned UFC title bid, his vaunted north-south choke being so prevalent that it was dubbed the Monson choke by many, etc.

What’s your favorite moment from the storied career of The Snowman Jeff Monson?

author avatar
Dylan Bowker
I've been enamored with combat sports for as long as I can remember. I've hosted MMA talk shows Lights Out and Pure Fight Radio with featured guests like Jens Pulver, Roy Nelson, Miesha Tate, Mark Coleman, and more. I've been an MMA broadcaster for XFFC as well as BTC and have done play by play commentary on live pay per view on GFL as well as FITE TV. I've provided written, audio, and video content covering some of the biggest MMA promotions like Rumble in the Cage, Unified MMA, and King of the Cage. I've worked as a sports entertainment personality for over five years and given play-by-play or featured promotions of KSW, ONE Championship, TKO, and Invicta FC. My work can be found in the USA Today Sports affiliate MMA Torch, Cageside Press, MMA Sucka, and Liberty Multimedia.