MOSCOW, September 24. /TASS/. Titled American MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) fighter Jeff Monson, who earlier applied for the Russian citizenship, may get it in September or October, Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) deputy Andrey Svintsov said at a news conference in TASS Thursday.
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 LDPR, to help him with obtaining the Russian citizenship.
"We hope the decision on granting citizenship will be positive. We think it will be made in September-October," Svintsov said.
Nicknamed ‘The Snowman’ and boasting a record of 81 fights (57 wins, 23 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 the 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.
On September 12, 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.
Monson said Thursday he intended to learn the Russian language as he had already learnt the history and culture of the country.
"I definitely need to learn Russian language," Monson told a news conference hosted by TASS on Thursday. "Living here I will need to build a better communication with the people that I live with. It’s just a matter of respect to learn the language."
"I spent the last few years learning about the Russian culture, Russian history. I know very much about this so the next step is to learn the Russian language," the titled US fighter said.