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Legendary US MMA fighter Monson pledges to learn Russian

Monson, 44, announced last year that he submitted documents to become a citizen of Russia

MOSCOW, September 24. /TASS/. Titled American MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) fighter Jeff Monson, who earlier applied for the Russian citizenship, said on Thursday he intended to learn the Russian language as he had already learnt the history and culture of the country.

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 Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR), to help him with obtaining the Russian citizenship.

"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."

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 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.