MOSCOW, May 24. /TASS/. Russia’s legendary US-born mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Jeff Monson should seek to gain more professional experience before attempting to run for a seat in the Russian State Duma, the lower house of parliament, a Russian lawmaker and member of the body told TASS on Wednesday.
"It is highly probable that he is still unaware of some of the specific nuances involved in the work in the State Duma," Svetlana Zhurova said. "Many celebrities and athletes who were previously elected [to legislative office] have now begun to decline [such political posts] because it [being a politician] effectively put an end to their professional sports careers."
"Monson would have to compete [against his political opponents], which demands that one be a professional, but I know nothing about his level of competency on that score," Zhurova, who is a 2006 Olympic champion and two-time world champion in speed skating, added.
Monson told TASS on Monday that he had officially surrendered his US passport to the US Consulate General in Istanbul, Turkey, thereby formally renouncing his American citizenship. He stated: "I am no longer American, only Russian."
In late April, the legendary MMA fighter, who also serves as a city councilor in a Moscow suburb, announced to TASS that he was determined to renounce his American citizenship because of his opposition to the current policies of the United States government.
According to other reports from April, Monson filed papers stating his intention to run for a seat in the legislative assembly of the central Russian region of Bashkortostan, formally known as the State Assembly - Kurultai of the Republic of Bashkortostan, as a candidate of United Russia, the country’s ruling party.
Monson was granted Russian citizenship in May 2018 and in September of that year was elected to the Council of Deputies (city council) of the Krasnogorsk District, Moscow Region, an inner suburb of the neighboring City of Moscow.
Jeffrey William Monson, 52, nicknamed "The Snowman," hails from the state of Minnesota, USA. As a mixed martial arts fighter, he boasts a record of 85 fights, chalking up 60 wins. He is also a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Champion. His last fight was in the Russian city of Belgorod on October 22, 2016, when Monson defeated Alex "Bizon" Kardo of Russia, using a chokehold.
Monson is known for his love of Russia and its Soviet past. On many occasions, he has appeared in the ring to the strains of the Soviet national anthem. In 2016, he was awarded the title of honorary citizen of Abkhazia; in 2017, he was granted a passport of the Lugansk People’s Republic in the Donbass region.