"UFC has experienced a sharp rise in popularity in Russian Federation over the past few years, with a fan base that has grown to more than 22 million, driven by the success local athletes have had in UFC", a press release from the promotion states.
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.
UFC today confirmed its debut event in Russian Federation to be held later this year at Olimpiyskiy Arena in Moscow on Saturday, September 15.
The company also announced the appointment of Andre Gromkovski to vice-president of UFC Russia. Tickets for the event will go on sale on Friday, June 1st.
"Russia is a key part of UFC's worldwide expansion strategy", said senior UFC official David Shaw.
Favourite son and UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov's dominant title win at UFC 223 helped increase the sport's profile in a country that still cherishes the days of its dominant PRIDE heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko.
Several other Russian fighters, such as Alexander Volkov, Zabit Magomedsharipov and Rustan Khabilov, will likely be strong contenders to compete in Moscow. Gromkovski will leading the UFC's transition into the market. There is one change, however, with the event being a UFC Fight Night rather than a rumored pay-per-view. He is now the Editor-in-Chief of Campus Sports.