The UFC will be making their debut in Russia later this year. The event will be a Fight Night card rather than a PPV, however. In addition to announcing Fight Night: Moscow for September 15th, 2018, the UFC announced the signing of Andre Gromkovski as the company’s new Vice President of UFC Russia.
“Russia is a key part of UFC’s international expansion strategy,” commented Senior Vice President, UFC International, and Content, David Shaw. “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.”
UFC is officially going to Russia on Sept. 15 for a Fight Night card in Moscow pic.twitter.com/0Zf6H0GGf9
— Damon Martin (@DamonMartin) May 16, 2018
UFC Fight Night: Moscow
Last month, rising Russian featherweight, Zabit Magomedsharipov, called out Yair Rodriguez. Zabit was hoping the two could fight in Russia but evidently the bout was not of interest to Rodriguez.
“I said from the beginning, he is a very tough opponent and I know this would be a tough fight. I just want to thank him for taking the fight with me because five other opponents refused to fight me. All I want to know is: who is next? I want Yair Rodriguez and I want to do it in Moscow,” Zabit said in his UFC 223 post-fight interview.
While Zabit likely will end up on the Moscow card, he won’t be fighting Yair Rodriguez. Last week the promotion chose to release Rodriguez in a move many are citing as controversial. Following the release of the 25-year-old, UFC President, Dana White, claimed Rodriguez had turned down a fight with Ricardo Lamas and responded to reports of a fight against Zabit as “Fake News”.
“The guy’s off a year, rejects a fight with Lamas and then doesn’t want to fight a guy below him in the rankings?” White told the LA Times. “He can go somewhere else. We have no use for him.”