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Ultimate Fighting Championship’s debut in Russia to see 12 fights, UFC executive says

The UFC is the largest MMA (mixed martial arts) promotion event around the globe

MOSCOW, June 1. /TASS/. A total of 12 fights are expected within the frames of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s (UFC) inaugural event in Russia this fall, UFC Senior Vice President David Shaw told TASS.

The UFC debut tournament in Russia will be held on September 15 in Moscow and the Olympiisky sports complex was selected as the venue for the upcoming bouts. Ticket sales for the inaugural UFC event in Russia were launched on June 1.

"The card itself will very much mirror what we do everywhere else," Shaw said in an interview with TASS when asked to comment what the fans should expect from the tournament in the Russian capital this September.

"We will have probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 12 total fights, comprised of the main card, which will likely be five fights, and an undercard of about seven fights," Shaw added.

The UFC executive also said that the organization viewed the upcoming event in Russia as an important one and hoped for a full-house attendance during the September fight night in Moscow.

"This event is an important one, it falls at a good time of the year," he said. "As we look at the Olimpiisky Stadium, we have got a variety of different scaling options, we see some strong initial ticket sales and the pre-sales so far."

"Typically, our events are sold at around 14,000-15,000 tickets and we would like to be beyond that, because it is the first time in the market and we know that there is a huge fan base in Russia," according to Shaw. "If we can get beyond that level we can be very happy."

The UFC is the largest MMA (mixed martial arts) promotion event around the globe featuring world’s top-ranked fighters. A number of Russian fighters are participating in the UFC competitions, including renowned Khabib Nurmagomedov.

On April 8, Nurmagomedov defeated his US opponent Al Iaquinta in a five-round fight for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight belt in New York.

Nurmagomedov became the first Russian to be awarded the UFC champion title. The 29-year-old Russian clinched the 26th victory in his career with no defeats, while Al Iaquinta suffered his fourth defeat with 13 victories and one draw.

Nurmagomedov made his UFC debut on January 20, 2012, defeating Iran’s Kamal Shalorus by submission (rear naked choke).

The encounter with Al Iaquinta was the tenth in the UFC for the Dagestani-born mixed martial arts fighter, who won all of his ten bouts.

Shortly after clinching the champion’s UFC belt on April 8, Nurmagomedov announced plans to fight with Canada’s Georges St-Pierre, who is one of the best UFC fighters in the middleweight class.