Isaiah Ismael Monroe (born November 30, 1975) is an American collegiate wrestler and mixed martial artist, currently fighting for the Ring WARRIORS promotion and is the current WARRIORS Middleweight Champion. Monroe is known for his world class wrestling, powerhouse slams and heavy handed boxing. As of February of 2005, he is ranked the #1 Middleweight and the consensus #1 Pound-for-Pound fighter in the world by Blurcat.com.
Mixed martial arts careerEdit
Isaiah Monroe wrestled for Ohio State University from 1993 to 1995, ending his collegiate wrestling career with an astounding record of 108-0. In 1996, at the urging of a friend, he made his pro mixed martial arts debut against Ricky Hartell. Monroe won by submission due to strikes in under a minute to score his first professional win. Monroe would be relatively inactive in the years to come, only fighting twice after his debut in 1996. By 1999, Monroe had amassed a 3-0 record, with all wins coming by way of first round stoppage.
In November of 1999, Nevada based Ring WARRIORS asked Monroe to headline their debut event in December. Monroe agreed, and was quickly signed to fight fellow collegiate wrestler, Drew Jenks.
Isaiah Monroe made his promotional debut, headlining the show against Olympic wrestler, Drew Jenks. Jenks had won silver in the 1992 Olympic games in freestyle wrestling and was expected to dominate the unheralded Monroe. Monroe was able to easily take down Jenks less than a minute into the fight. From there, he began to land hard ground and pound from half-guard and the referee was forced to stop the fight, only one minute into the fight. With this win, Monroe gained national attention from numerous MMA publications.
With merely four fights under his belt, Monroe was offered a title shot against veteran Brazilian fighter Marcos Mendoza, who had won the Middleweight title at Ring WARRIORS 3 against Keith Plaice.
Winning the Middleweight titleEdit
Monroe and Mendoza faced off on April 4, 2000 at Ring WARRIORS 5. Mendoza came in as the heavy favorite, having 50+ fights under his belt at the time. Monroe shocked many analysts and fans as he consistently put Mendoza on his back with his takedowns, and spent most of the fight out grappling Mendoza on top and pummeling him with punches and elbows. By the fifth round, the 200+ shots to the head and body had taken their toll on Mendoza and allowed Monroe to land a vicious overhand right that sent Mendoza to the canvas. Too exhausted to intelligently defend himself from the follow up punches on the ground, the referee stopped the fight in favor of Isaiah Monroe. Monroe was crowned the new Middleweight Champion, and was viewed as a fighter to watch in the year 2000. Monroe would receieve Knockout of the Night honors, as well as scoring Blurcat's Upset of the Year.
Defending the titleEdit
Only three events later, Monroe was signed to face undefeated powerhouse Gavin Marshall at Ring WARRIORS 8. Marshall was seen by many analysts as being very similar to Monroe as both fighters were big middleweights, strong wrestlers and had underrated stand up skills, leading many to predict a back-and-forth fight. Once again proving the experts wrong, Monroe spent the majority of the fight outclassing Marshall on both the feet and the ground. Marshall, who was unable to score even one takedown, was overwhelmed by the bigger and more technical Monroe. Monroe cruised to a fourth round technical knockout to earn the sixth win of his career.
In a span of nine months, Monroe would defend his title three times against Nigerian boxer Danny Akabaro and Japanese striker Kojuro Kudo, as well as a rematch against Marcos Mendoza. With these wins, Monroe was boosted to #6 in the middleweight rankings.
In May of 2001, Ring WARRIORS CEO Jonathon Hall announced that Monroe would defend his title against GAMMA veteran, Adam White. A jeet kune do and wrestling specialist, White was considered by many to be the biggest challenge for Monroe to date due to his well rounded stand up and ground game. They would face off at Ring WARRIORS 30. Monroe came in as the slight favorite, and as he had with Jenks and Mendoza, upset the analysts once again by easily disposing of the versatile White with strikes in the first round. With the win over White, Monroe had defended his title five times.
Monroe would then face another GAMMA veteran, Petey Mack. In vintage fashion, Monroe easily dominated the overmatched Mack from the very beginning to force the first round stoppage.
To open 2002, Monroe took on Japanese karateka and Alpha-1 veteran, Tadao Miyazaki, at Ring WARRIORS 48. Miyazaki had looked dominant with KO victories over Esteban Vega and JJ Reid. Yet again, Monroe easily TKOed Miyazaki in the first round with strikes from the mounted position.
Monroe rematched Gavin Marshall at Ring WARRIORS 52. Marshall had won eight fights since his loss to Monroe, winning all but one of them by TKO, including victories over Adam White, Danny Akabaro, and Drew Jenks. Once again, analysts felt Marshall would give Monroe a tough fight. Monroe would TKO Marshall in the first, handing Marshall his first loss since their first fight. With the second loss to Monroe, Marshall would move down to welterweight, a move many felt was influenced by the losses to Monroe.
In October of 2002, Monroe took on jiu jitsu specialist Rodney Bradley at Ring WARRIORS 58. Bradley, known mostly for his families domination of the international BJJ circuit, was looked at as one of the most naturally talented young fighters in MMA. A second degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Bradley rounded out his grappling base with high level kickboxing skills and underrated wrestling. 9-1 as a professional, Bradley had finished nearly all of his fights by submission and had avenged his only loss to former title challenger Petey Mack. In what was considered a big upset, Monroe dominated Bradley on the ground, easily defending submission attempts and passing Bradley's guard with ease. Monroe would close the show in the fourth, finishing the clearly tired Bradley with a rear naked choke, and taking Submission of the Night honors.
Adam White was able to work his way up back to a title shot against Isaiah Monroe and took on the champion at Ring WARRIORS 71. While Adam looked good early, utilizing movement and feints to confuse Monroe, he would suffer the same fate as their first fight, this time tapping out due to a rear naked choke in the first. This would be Monroe's only fight in 2003, citing injuries and spending more time with his family as key factors.
Ring WARRIORS opened up 2004 with a title bout between Isaiah Monroe and GAMMA veteran, Jeff Saunders. Saunders, who had just recently choked out a very game Rodney Bradley, was seen as a dangerous opponent for the champion. The fight took place at Ring WARRIORS 78, and the weigh ins would prove to be controversial as Saunders would come in five pounds over the 185 weight limit. Unable to lose the weight in time, the fight was turned into a normal 3 round fight with the belt no longer on the line. Monroe dominated from the opening bell, out striking a visibly nervous Saunders. Saunders spent most of the fight on the defensive and was gun shy when it came to striking exchanges. Monroe would finish him by TKO in the first, thus extending his winning streak to sixteen.
At Ring WARRIORS 85, Monroe would face Ethan Sutton. Sutton, a relatively plain wrestler with a decent stand up game, was seen as no match for the undefeated Monroe. The analysts proved to be right as Monroe would finish Sutton in the first round with strikes. This would be the last fight Monroe would have in 2004.
Fighting at light heavyweightEdit
Due to a lack of challengers in the middleweight division, Ring WARRIORS CEO Jonathon Hall would announce in December of 2004 that Monroe would be taking on former light heavyweight champion, Harrison Copeland, at a catchweight of 195 pounds. The fight was set to headline Ring WARRIORS 88.
Monroe came out quickly and immediately began to stand and trade with the rugged brawler in Copeland. Merely three minutes into the fight, Monroe would connect on a clean right hand that would send Copeland to the mat. Many considered it a tremendous victory of Monroe, knocking out an iron-chinned former champion in Copeland.
At the post-fight press conference, Monroe hinted at moving up in weight to take on light heavyweight champion Luis Santos, but no official statement has been made.
Monroe is expected to defend his Middleweight title against heavy handed brawler, Nathan Ronald, sometime later in the year. Ronald knocked out former contender, Tom Essy, in the co-main event of Ring WARRIORS 88 to earn the title shot.
Isaiah Monroe and his wife, Andrea Lucia Monroe, have two sons: Jesús Ismael Monroe, born July 12, 1998 and Julias Ismael Monroe, born October 17, 2002.
Before fighting as a professional, Monroe went to Ohio State University, where he received his degree in computer science in 1995. From 1996 to 2001, Monroe had a career as an independent software developer before eventually quitting his job to become a full time fighter.
Monroe is close friends with veteran fighter and Impact MMA teammate, Christopher Sharp.
Championships and accomplishmentsEdit
National Collegiate Athletic Association
- 1994 NCAA Division 1 Championships (163 lbs 1st Place)
- 1995 NCAA Division 1 Championships (163 lbs 1st Place)
Mixed martial artsEdit
- Ring WARRIORS Middleweight Championship (One time, current)
- Eleven successful title defenses
- Knockout of the Night (Four times)
- Submission of the Night (Three times)
- Fight of the Night (Twice)
- 1999 Rise of the Year
- 1999 Main Event of the Year (vs. Drew Jenks)
- 2000 Upset of the Year (vs. Marcos Mendoza)
Mixed martial arts recordEdit
|Professional record breakdown|
|18 matches||18 wins||0 losses|