The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has confirmed that it will stage its debut event in Russia later this year at Olimpiyskiy Arena, Moscow.
The event, dubbed ‘UFC Fight Night Moscow’, will be held on 15th September.
The UFC says it has experienced a “sharp rise in popularity in Russia over the past years”, with its fan base growing to more than 22 billion following the success of local athletes in the MMA series.
In recent months, Khabib Nurmagomedov won the lightweight championship; heavyweight Alexander Volkov defeated legend of the sport and former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum; and rising featherweight Zabit Magomedsharipov extended his overall record to 15-1, including a three-fight win streak in UFC.
As part of its Russia expansion, the MMA series has appointed Andre Gromkovski as its new vice president of UFC Russia.
Gromkovski brings with him expertise across the media sales, digital, marketing and content distribution landscapes, working with entertainment companies including Universal Studios, Fox, Viacom and Paramount Pictures.
In his new position, Gromkovski will be based in Moscow and will lead the regional strategic plan for UFC Russia, working alongside UFC’s executive team in Las Vegas and the EMEA team based in London.
“Russia is a key part of UFC’s international expansion strategy,” said David Shaw, senior vice president, UFC International. “The demand from our fans to bring a live event to Russia has been overwhelming, and with the vast potential this market holds for us, we knew this was the perfect time to bring UFC Fight Night to Moscow.”