Monson pleads guilty to graffiti charge, can't leave U.S. to fight

Veteran MMA fighter Jeff Monson pleaded guilty to graffiti-related charges stemming from a picture that was published last year in ESPN the Magazine (right) of Monson spraypainting an anarchy symbol onto the Washington state Capitol. Monson pleaded guilty to the Capitol charge, and entered an Alford plea on the charge for graffiti at an armed-forces recruiting center, meaning that he doesn't admit guilt, but does believe that there is enough evidence that he will be convicted.

Monson, 38, is scheduled to be sentenced in October, with the prosecutor recommending 90 days in jail. He was also slapped with a $21,894 fine for restitution. However, the crushing blow for Monson is that he was forced to hand over his passport. He is reported to have fights scheduled in Russia and Japan in early 2010, and won't be able to travel for them. When asked to turn the passport over, he asked the prosecutor, "Are you going to support my family now?"

Monson's last three fights have not been in the United States, but the idea that he won't be able to find a fight within the U.S. is just silly. His name has drawing power, and there are plenty of shows that would clamor to have Monson on their card.

They probably won't pay as well as the Japanese and Russian shows, but Monson should have considered those consequences before he whipped out the can of spray paint and defaced government property. His graffiti may have been an act of civil disobedience to bring awareness to anarchy, but, as he well knows, acts of civil disobedience are frequently punished.