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UFC lands Russian broadcast deal with VGTRK to air all upcoming events in 2015

UFC has a new home in Mother Russia.

David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has announced (via MMA Junkie) the signing of a major broadcast deal in Russia with VGTRK (The All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company).

The deal will see all upcoming UFC events air on multiple broadcast outlets across Russia, including Russia 2, Sport 1, Fight Club and

While the promotion has yet to stage an event in Russia, it is in the plans down the road. The deal will only speed up the process as David Allen, senior vice president and general manager of UFC EMEA, says the country is one the promotion's targets and focal points.

"Russia is firmly on our target list as a focal point of MMA within Europe with a fantastic fan base and great UFC fighters. VGTRK have an impressive background in sport across all of their outlets, and their experience and knowledge is evident. We are thrilled to partner with them and look forward to satisfying demand for the UFC and propelling the sport within Russia together."

Over the last few years, there has been an influx of Russian talent showcased inside the Octagon, with names like Khabib Nurmagomedov, Rustam Khabilov and Ali Bagautinov, among others, leading the way.

That's a key factor that undoubtedly aided in the deal, as Alexander Taschin, head of sports broadcasting of VGTR, revealed.

"Martial arts are traditionally very important for our company. We followed the success of the UFC and have noticed a growing interest of the audience in the country, which we expect is due partly to the 20 Russian fighters who participate in UFC championship. UFC offered high-quality content to us, and the package of more than 40 events will be a perfect addition to the sports portfolio of VGTRK this year."

The deal will kick off with this weekend's (Sat. Jan. 24, 2015) UFC on FOX 14 event, which features a pivotal light heavyweight showdown between Alexander Gustafsson and Anthony Johnson in Stockholm, Sweden. In the co-headlining act, Dan Henderson takes on Gegard Mousasi in a highly-anticipated bout.

And it's no coincidence that the event also features six Russian fighters on the undercard.

The broadcast deal is just the latest for UFC, as the world's leading mixed martial arts (MMA) organization already has agreements with major outlets in China, Mexico and the UK, among many others.

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