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16 May, 2018 10:15

OFFICIAL: UFC announces debut event in Moscow

OFFICIAL: UFC announces debut event in Moscow

After months of speculation the UFC has confirmed it will hold its first-ever Russian event at Moscow’s Olimpiyskiy Stadium in September, announcing that Russia is a "key part of UFC’s international expansion strategy."

The UFC announced on Wednesday morning preliminary details of its debut event in the Russian capital, confirming rumors which have been circulating for several months that it will take place on September 15.

The 35,0000-capacity Olimpiyskiy Stadium (Olympic Stadium) will host the event, with tickets going on sale to the general public on June 1.

No fights have yet been announced for the event, which is a ‘Fight Night’ card as opposed to a pay-per-view event. Traditionally the UFC tends to hold back its bigger stars to compete on pay-per-view, a move which likely means that lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov will not compete.

However, speaking to RT Sport in January regarding speculation of a Russian event, Nurmagomedov’s father stated that, “Most likely, this event is going to be connected with us.”

Several other Russian fighters, such as Alexander Volkov, Zabit Magomedsharipov and Rustan Khabilov, will likely be strong contenders to compete in Moscow.

“Russia is a key part of UFC’s international expansion strategy,” David Shaw, senior vice president, UFC international and content, said in a statement confirming the event.

“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.”