The third fight on the main card of Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum is Daniel Cormier vs. Jeff Monson. This is a heavyweight bout, meaning both competitors are between 206lbs and 265lbs (weigh-in results here). This bout serves to establish alternates for the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix should some of the tournament regulars be forced out to injury or other reasons. Monson is a long-time competitor and once contended for a UFC heavyweight title. Cormier is a rising prospect and two-time member of the U.S. Olympic men's wrestling team.
What are their stats?
Daniel Cormier: 5'11", 239lbs
Jeff Monson: 5'9", 234lbs
How did they get here?
Cormier is a rising heavyweight prospect who is part of the American Kickboxing Academy team, alongside Mike Swick, Josh Koscheck, Cain Velasquez and Jon Fitch. He holds notable wins over Devin Cole, Soa Palelei and Jason Riley.
Monson is a veteran with more than 50 fights. He is also one of the most accomplished heavyweight grapplers competing in MMA. He holds notable wins over Sergei Kharitonov, Roy Nelson and Ricco Rodriguez. He is currently on an eight-fight win streak, although against less than top tier competition.
What are their ways to win?
Cormier is easily the superior wrestling and probably has enough submission defense to win on the ground, but the much simpler path to victory. Monson has gas tank issues and is neither explosive nor an adept striker. Cormier can push the pace, use distancing and take his time beating up Monson in the stand up or in the clinch until it's time to unleash his rather savage ground and pound. Monson, on the other hand, must find a way to take Cormier down and use his submission prowess from a top control to have any chance of winning.
What's at stake?
This is Cormier's opportunity to transform from prospect to legitimate contender. For Monson, it's the chance to elevate his stock before he either stops competing or enters journeyman status.