MOSCOW, May 29 (Xinhua) — Russian President Vladimir Putin has granted Russian citizenship to U.S. mixed martial artist Jeffrey Monson, said a presidential decree published Tuesday.
Monson, 47, had won 61 out of 88 mixed martial arts fights he had participated, according to Russian sports Internet portal sports.ru
Candid about his fondness of Russia and its Soviet past, Monson has been fighting mostly in Russia since 2011.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Monson was granted Russian citizenship due to his fame in the field of sports.
He told reporters that Monson had applied for citizenship and fulfilled all the necessary procedures, but the final step to becoming a citizen requires him to take his oath.
In the last few years Putin has signed decrees granting Russian citizenship to various famous figures including U.S. actor Steven Seagal and French actor Gerard Depardieu.