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UFC to stage first event in Russia

Mixed martial arts promotion the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will stage an event in Russia for the first time this year after scheduling a ‘Fight Night’ show in Moscow.

UFC Fight Night Moscow will take place at the Olimpiyskiy Arena on September 15, with tickets to go on general sale from June 1.

Confirmation of the new event comes as the UFC seeks to capitalise on the series’ increasing popularity in Russia. UFC said the recent success of Russian fighters such as Khabib Nurmagomedov (pictured) and Alexander Volkov has boosted its fanbase in the country to more than 22 million.

David Shaw, senior vice-president of UFC International and Content, said: “Russia is a key part of UFC’s international expansion strategy. 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.”

To support the Moscow event and its expansion plans in the country, the UFC has appointed Andre Gromkovski as vice-president of UFC Russia. Gromkovski will head up the series’ regional strategic plan in Russia, working alongside the UFC executive team in Las Vegas, Nevada, in the US and the Europe, Middle East and Africa team in London, England.

Gromkovski takes on the role having previously spent time working in media sales, digital, marketing and content distribution for a number of major brands such as Universal Studios, Fox, Viacom and Paramount Pictures.