M-1 Challenge Announces Partnership with UFC to Focus on Russian MMA Talent

By Tristen Critchfield Jul 18, 2018

M-1 Challenge has announced a partnership with the Ultimate Fighting Championship that could help the Las Vegas-based promotion establish a stronger foothold in Russia.

According to a statement, Russian-Chinese investment fund Mubadala Investment Company and the UFC have teamed up for the venture, called UFC Russia, which will “organize new shows in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).” Additionally, M-1 Challenge champions will have the opportunity to sign contracts with the UFC.

“We are looking forward to further cooperation with the UFC and the Russia-China Investment Fund working on developing young Russian talent, and this will benefit our sports very much,” M-1 Global President Vadim Finkelchtein said. “MMA is a very popular kind of sports, and cooperation of the UFC, investment fund and M-1 Global can take MMA in Russia to new level. Competition in M-1 Global is going to be even tougher, and that means we are going to see even more excellent and spectacular fights.”

The UFC is scheduled to make its Russian debut with UFC Fight Night at Olympic Stadium in Moscow on Sept. 15. The card will reportedly be headlined by a heavyweight clash between Alexey Oleynik and Mark Hunt, although the promotion has yet to confirm the pairing.

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