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MOSCOW, December 23. /TASS, Yevgeny Ionov, Igor Lazorin/. Titled American MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) fighter Jeff Monson told TASS he would be proud to square off his next opponent this week under the national flag of Russia.
US-born Monson, 44, earlier made a decision of living in Russia and to obtain the country’s citizenship and this week he announced that he had been officially registered within the relevant authorities and was expecting to receive the Russian passport in the coming days.
Speaking about feelings of possibly having the next fight as a Russian citizen and under the national flag of his new country, Monson said he felt "a lot of nervousness."
"I have a lot of responsibility," he said in an interview with TASS. "It is a big weight on my shoulders. It is a proud moment."
"But it is also that I want to represent Russia well and show these people, who helped me become the Russian citizen, that I am doing something good for Russia," Monson said.
On December 25, Monson has a scheduled bout in Khimki, outside the Russian capital, against the fighter from Cameroon, Donald Njatah. The 23-year-old Cameroonian fighter boasts a personal record of 11 wins (5 KOs) and 6 losses.
Asked whether any previously sustained injuries troubled him before the fight this week, Monson said he would be hundred percent ready to go.
"When you get to the oval and you are fighting, you are going to have injuries," he said. "All these things are difficult, but when it comes out to the day of the fight I am hundred percent ready to go."
Nicknamed ‘The Snowman’ and boasting a record of 84 fights (59 wins, 24 losses, 1 draw) in mixed martial arts competitions 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.