M-1 Global Ad Calls Monson “American Hero”, Miletich Says Heavyweight is “Nowhere Near”
By Kelsey Mowatt
Despite having lost three straight fights, many throughout the MMA world are likely still taking an interest in Fedor Emelianenko’s next bout: a November 20th match-up with former UFC heavyweight contender Jeff Monson. There’s little doubt that the former Pride champ Emelianenko is still M-1 Global’s top draw, and the company has been releasing promotional videos for the upcoming Moscow tilt, which feature both Fedor and his veteran opponent Monson exclusively.
One of the aforementioned videos refers to Monson as an “American Hero”, before reminding viewers that the renowned grappler “has beaten many great fighters” and is out to “conquer Fedor.” While former UFC champion Pat Miletich wouldn’t likely take issue with the statements related to Monson’s career, the legendary trainer won’t be referring to the 40 year-old-heavyweight as a national hero anytime soon.
“Jeff and I have had some Twitter wars over it,” Miletich said about Monson, a self identified anarchist, who has been a vocal critic of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, American foreign policy, and the nation’s political system. “I think from a certain foreign stand-point, Jeff Monson may be considered an American hero; from a true American stand-point Jeff Monson is nowhere near. That term never even arises in anyone’s mind with common sense American thinking.”
In a recent and heated Twitter exchange, the two began debating American policy in relation to Israel and Palestine, before Monson angered Miletich by stating his contention that the U.S. Government has been responsible for oppressive and terrorist like acts.
“Jeff Monson, in his statements throughout time, has proven to be flat-out, anti-American,” said Miletich , who has worked extensively as an instructor for the U.S. Military, specializing in advanced survival tactics, support and stability training.
When FCF recently asked Strikeforce lightweight Caros Fodor for his thoughts on Monson being described as an “American Hero”, the Iraq War veteran and former Marine stated:
“It really doesn’t matter to me,” said Fodor. “I think there are a lot of heroes in America, whether or not you have a stance on the war. Personally I think war should be avoided; it’s pretty devastating when it happens. But I’ve listened to some of the stuff Jeff has said and I agree with a lot of what he says. I think he’s a good guy. If they’re just trying to play that angle for the promotion I’m okay with it.”
Debate over how Monson should be characterized aside, Miletich acknowledges that the promo trailers were intended to hype the upcoming November 20th fight, and not spark a political debate.
“I’m sure it’s just to promote the fight,” Miletich said. “A Russian and world legend like Fedor Emelianenko taking on an America fighter.”
“From a promotional stand-point it’s a good angle to take,” Miletich added. “Like I say, a Russian legend against an American fighter with a fairly big name, who’s been around in several major organizations. So it’s about marketing and there’s nothing wrong with that.”
And in terms of how the upcoming fight will go down, Miletich and Fodor seem to share more common ground.
“Fedor’s been my hero for a long time,” said Fodor. “I don’t know what’s going on in his head lately, but I think he should beat Monson…this is probably the best time for Jeff to fight him though for sure.”
“I think Monson’s plan is going to be lay-and-pray,” Miletich said. “Fedor has never really changed his style for anybody, he goes for the kill every fight, so he’s probably going to want to stop Monson’s takedowns and force him to bang with him…If I was a betting man I’d be betting on Fedor.”
(Stay tuned to FCF for a follow up interview with Monson)