Moscow-based MMA legend gives up US citizenship – media
Jeff Monson became a Russian citizen in 2018 and was elected to political office in Moscow Region
American-born mixed martial arts star Jeff Monson plans to renounce his US citizenship due to his disagreement with Washington’s foreign policy, he told TASS on Thursday.
“I disagree with US policies because they interfere in the internal affairs of other countries and people suffer because of this,” said the legendary fighter, who was granted Russian citizenship in 2018.
“Yes, I have children living in the United States, but I love Russia, I love the Russian people,” he told the state news outlet, adding, “I like everything here and I want to be the holder of a Russian passport only.”
Only months after becoming a Russian citizen, Monson was elected as a deputy to the Council of Deputies of the Krasnogorsk district in Moscow Region. He remains a legislator for the region.
Nicknamed ‘the Snowman’, Monson has won 61 of his 90 fights. He is a former challenger for the Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight title and a two-time ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship winner. In addition to MMA, he is also a Brazilian Jiu-jitsu world champion.
An enthusiast of Russian and Soviet culture who has said he has a “Russian soul,” Monson was granted honorary citizenship of the breakaway Republic of Abkhazia in 2016 and received a passport in 2017 to what was then the self-declared Lugansk People’s Republic. He recently filmed and edited a documentary about “the people of Donbass” and in September revealed he planned to open sports schools in the Donetsk People’s Republic.