DENIS MARTINS: Jeff, you were the only American fighter who won a weight class in ADCC this year. What are your thoughts? JEFF MONSON: I am actually surprised I was the only American in the finals this year, especially with the fact that it being in the United States. Some Americans did well though, but I think it is evident that the Brazilians are as a whole lot more prepared at grappling. I thought the gap was getting closer, but there is no way to deny after this competition that the Americans have a long ways to go before being on the same level. DENIS MARTINS: You already fought MMA 3 times this year. Did you get to make a transition from MMA training to Submission training without any problem? JEFF MONSON: I fought in England 1 month before ADCC 2005. I then stayed in England, and I trained with Braulio from Stevie B’s gym in Birmingham, England; before going back to Florida and training with my ATT team in Florida. I was already in shape for the fight so I just trained wrestling and jiu jitsu for 1 month before and I came in very ready.DENIS MARTINS: You took part in 4 ADCC editions. What’s your opinion about this one in the USA? JEFF MONSON: This ADCC 2005 was different from the others because of the location. It was nice not having to travel to another country. I’m from the West Coast already (Seattle) so I was used to the time zone and weather and the area. It felt like I was on my home turf so it was a comfortable situation for me.DENIS MARTINS: And your performance, how do you compare this run to your first ADCC championship? JEFF MONSON: When I won ADCC in ’99, I really had no idea of the importance of the event. I just wanted to do well and not lose. I really didn’t feel any outside pressure because I was completely unknown. I just competed hard and I won. This year I felt a lot of pressure. I have won every major and minor competition in grappling since that first ADCC except for winning ADCC again. I finished second twice and I didn’t place at all 2 years ago in Brazil, so this was about redemption. I feel I should win every match I compete in if I fight to the best of my ability. So I knew I could win. I felt I should win. So I put a lot of pressure on myself this time. I had both biceps completely torn, which required surgery since after first win in ’99 and it has been a lot of rehab and hard work to come back. So this win was definitely more satisfying.DENIS MARTINS: Who was you hardest opponent and why? JEFF MONSON: My most difficult match was my semifinal match against Fabricio Werdum. He is tough, he showed some good wrestling as well as a great guard. I actually did not grapple well against him but I so badly did not want to lose, and I was able to pull out the win.DENIS MARTINS: ATT fighter Pablo Popovich, your teammate also made it to the finals. Did you watch his fight? JEFF MONSON: Pablo Popovich had a great tournament I thought. Unfortunately, in the finals he ran into the best pound for pound grappler in the world. He was doing alright in the match until he got caught. Pablo is awesome, he is definitely capable of beating Garcia, but he would need to grapple a perfect match.DENIS MARTINS: Since you joined ATT a lot of insiders and fans look at you different. You improved a lot of ground aspects; in your opinion what was the most important thing acquired since you joined ATT? JEFF MONSON: Since I joined ATT, I, for sure, am a more complete grappler. I feel just as comfortable on the bottom or on top. I am blessed because I have the privilege of training with the best grapplers in the world at the best martial arts academy in the world. Because of this I feel I have an obligation to win when I compete. Guys like Daniel Valleverde, Moacir ‘Boca’ Oliveira, Pablo Popovitch, Dustin ‘Clean’ Denes, Marcel Ferreira, Marcus ‘Maximus’ Aurelio, Dan Lambert, Wade Rome, Hermes Franca, Marcus Parrumpinha, etc. have helped me tremendously.DENIS MARTINS: You fought in the over 99 kg weight class in ADCC and you fought heavyweight in Cage Warriors. Is this the weight that you would like to fight MMA, or would you drop weight if you get an opportunity in Pride or UFC? JEFF MONSON: I just fought in Hawaii on July 2nd and won by armbar, and on July 9th I competed at the Grapplers Quest absolute tournament and won that also. My next competition is a pro boxing match in August in Florida. I have been contacted about competing in Pride in February so we will see. I will stick to heavyweight. I plan on filling out a little more, but even so I realize I’m small for a heavyweight. With great conditioning I should balance that out.DENIS MARTINS: Jeff, what about Marcio ‘Pe de Pano’ Cruz? Would you still like to fight MMA against him? JEFF MONSON: I would fight ‘Pe de Pano’ anytime and in grappling or MMA. I seriously doubt he would fight me. After the Arnolds last year, he realizes he cannot beat me. I will never say I can’t lose to someone because anything can happen in competition. Except for him, ‘Pe de Pano’ cannot beat me ever. He knows it as well as I do; if I fight him MMA I would hurt him very badly and I think he acknowledges this fact, so I don’t think he would ever fight me. I would love the opportunity, but I as I stated I don’t thing he would agree to it.DENIS MARTINS: Thank you very much for your time. DO you want to add anything? JEFF MONSON: I would just like to thank my teammates at ATT and my coaches Liborio, Marcelo Silveira, and Conan Silveira for all the support they have given me the past 3 1/2 years. There were many hard times, especially early on when they could have given up on me but they stuck with me and had my back always, and for this I am forever grateful.

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