Cormier, despite his age (32), is considered the new school, the next big thing in the heavyweight division.
He's an Olympic level freestyle wrestler and a two-time junior college national champion. Since becoming a mixed martial artist, he's compiled a spotless 7-0 record, winning impressively in all seven contests.
He also makes his home at the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA), the same place such houses such elite fighters as UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez and perennial title contenders Jon Fitch and Josh Koscheck.
That's all a long-winded way of saying the man has the credentials.
His issue has been finding fights, the correct fights for his career path at least, and fighting with a promotion like Strikeforce hasn't helped to keep him on the prospect track.
But the decision makers have done well not to rush him into anything he may not be ready for. And while Monson wasn't his original opponent down in Dallas, it makes a whole lot of sense for these two to hook 'em up.
If it seems like Jeff Monson has been around forever it's because he has. There's not a whole lot you could throw at him that would dictate a reply any different than, 'Been there, done that.'
He's a Division I wrestler, a two-time Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) Submission Wrestling World Champion, a No-Gi Brazilian jiu-jitsu World Champion and has won various titles within mixed martial arts.
At 40-years-old and a veteran of 53 professional fights, "The Snowman" has seen and done it all.
Admittedly, he's in the waning stages of his career, but that doesn't mean he's not just as spry as he's ever been. In his zest to make it back to the UFC, Monson has ripped off eight consecutive victories and 17 of his last 20 overall.
And while that was enough to earn him a return trip to Zuffa, he does so with the Strikeforce promotion, one that offers him just as many interesting match-ups.
For starters, Cormier.
Seeing as this is the twilight of Monson's career, it would seem the only way to go is down but this is not the case. A win over an athletic beast like "DC" would go a long way in convincing the Octagon overlords that he's once again deserving to join the party in the eight-sided playground.
That's the goal. It's in sight and in mind and rest assured, even on short notice, the grizzled vet is fully prepared for tonight's test.
The young lion vs. the old guard. See you at the crossroads.