Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight title challenger Jeff Monson became a Russian citizen back in 2018, thanks to the signature of a starstruck Vladimir Putin, and has been enjoying a life of smoky hospitals and chicken wire ever since.
But Russian citizenship is about more than just blini and vodka and now Monson may have to gear up for the war in Ukraine. Over 200,000 people have already been drafted into Russia’s armed forces within the last month, according to a report from Reuters.
“I hope I don’t get drafted,” Monson told Metaratings (transcribed by Bloody Elbow). “I think everyone hopes that he will not be called up. I want Russia to win this confrontation as quickly as possible. I love this country. It has done a lot for me. This is my home, the home of my children, my wife. If we all live here and say ‘No,’ then who will protect the country? But if they call me, I will go.”
The 51 year-old Monson (60-26-1) has competed for UFC, Strikefore, and PRIDE FC across his 20-year career but “The Snowman” has not seen action since capturing a submission victory over local ham and egger Alex Kardo at Industrials “Battle in Belgorod” in Oct. 2016.
The war in Ukraine continues to impact MMA fighters from both countries and even canceled a Bellator title fight last March. In addition, AMC Fight Night middleweight champion Vladimir Mineev was recently drafted into the Russian army.