MOSCOW, September 15. /TASS/. Titled American MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) fighter Jeff Monson hopes to obtain the Russian citizenship under a simplified procedure, Igor Lebedev, a vice speaker of the Russian parliament’s lower house, told TASS on Tuesday.
Monson, 44, announced last year that he submitted documents to become a citizen of Russia and upon his visit to Moscow this June he asked Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR), to help him with obtaining the Russian citizenship.
"We have sent relevant letters to the Ministry of Sports and the president of Russia," Lebedev, who is also the chairman of LDPR Supreme Council, said in an interview with TASS. "There is no reaction as of yet as only two days have literally passed."
"We have met with representatives of the presidential administration and they are in favor of this issue," Lebedev said. "I believe that the issue will get a positive response and he [Monson] will be issued it [the citizenship] under a simplified procedure."
Nicknamed ‘The Snowman’ and boasting a record of 78 fights (55 wins, 22 losses, 1 draw) Monson was born in Olympia, the state of Washington, on January 18, 1971. The American fighter is the two-time winner of the ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship, and a No Gi Brazilian jiu-jitsu World Champion.
Among numerous tattoos on his body, Monson sports two tattoos in Russian saying ‘svoboda’ (freedom) and ‘solidarnost’ (solidarity). Tattoos of Hammer and Sickle (a symbol of former Soviet Union) a red and black star are also inked on Monson’s body.
In one of Moscow tattoo salons earlier this year, Monson made a tattoo running up the whole length of his left thigh with the image of Russia’s world-famous monument, The Motherland Calls. The monument, located on the Mamayev Kurgan in the Russian city of Volgograd, was erected to commemorate the heroic feat of the Soviet soldiers in one of the bloodiest WWII battles known as the Battle of Stalingrad.
If granted the Russian citizenship, Monson will be the second well-known US fighter to become the citizen of Russia this year.
Last Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin granted citizenship to US legendary boxer Roy Jones Jr.
The boxer met the Russian president on August 19 in Crimea’s Sevastopol and told Putin he wanted to become a Russian citizen. Putin agreed to assist if the boxer connects his future life with Russia. On August 20 in Yalta (Crimea), the boxer filed an application for the Russian citizenship.