JEFF MONSON is the former UFC fighter who renounced his American citizenship on his way to becoming a Russian politician.
'The Snowman' made his octagon debut 23 years ago at UFC 27, where he defeated Tim Lajcik via unanimous decision.
His first stint in the promotion came to an end in 2002 after defeats to MMA icons Chuck Liddell and Ricco Rodriguez.
He briefly rejoined UFC in 2006 before kicking off a journeyman stage of his career, during which he fought all over the world.
Several Russian promotions gave the now 52-year-old opportunities to compete – and he grabbed them with both hands.
Monson has competed 22 times in various Russian organisations, with his last outing taking place in 2017.
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But two years earlier, he began seeking Russian citizenship after developing an affinity for "the Russian people".
He said: "I felt deep down right away that this is my home – the one place I feel at peace with myself and my surroundings.
"And it was as unexpected for me as it would be for nearly any American.”
His wish came true in 2018 when President Vladimir Putin granted him citizenship, which ultimately proved to be the first step in him renouncing his homeland.
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