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Aide denies reports Monson granted Russian citizenship

November 21, 2015, 8:49 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Earlier, Monson’s friend, fighter Alexey Oleinik said Monson was granted Russian citizenship
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© Artem Geodakyan / TASS

MOSCOW, November 21. /TASS/. Reports that titled American MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) fighter Jeff Monson received Russian citizenship are premature, Monson’s representative Nikolai Kaushansky told TASS.

Earlier, Monson’s friend, fighter Alexey Oleinik said Monson was granted Russian citizenship.

"The documents are being considered. Reports that Monson has been granted citizenship are premature," Kaushansky said.

Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) deputy Andrey Svintsov said at a news conference in TASS in late September that Monson, who earlier applied for the Russian citizenship, may get it in September or October.

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.

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.

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