UFC news, rumors: Fight Night Russia event official; Nate Diaz under investigation
The rumors of the promotion heading to Russia were confirmed on Wednesday
One of the biggest rumors that has engulfed the UFC this year has been the possibility of the promotion heading over to Russia to present an event. As time went on, it became a matter of when and not if, especially with president Dana White stating on multiple occasions that something would take place in the country. Well, we now know the "when," and that's where we begin our look at the biggest UFC headlines for Wednesday, May 16.
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UFC announces Russian Fight Night event
UFC announced on Wednesday that its first trip to Russia is set in stone, and it will be taking place on Sept. 15 inside Olimpiyskiy Arena in Moscow. In a brief release from UFC, senior vice president of international and content David Shaw cited the high demand for the promotion as this being the perfect time to present Russia its first UFC event to date.
"Russia is a key part of UFC's international expansion strategy," Shaw said. "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."
Now it's very important, especially for casual fans, to understand that this is a free Fight Night card. Since the announcement was made, a common misconception has been this event serving as the stage for lightweight champion and Russia's own Khabib Nurmagomedov defending his title against the man who never lost it, Conor McGregor. Simply put, with this being a free card for the masses, the chances of that happening are about as close to zero as one can get. White has proclaimed that if that mega fight does take place in the future, the only setting worthy of it would be Las Vegas and the T-Mobile Arena on pay-per-view. The revelation of this Russian event being a free card only drives that proclamation home even more.
Still, that shouldn't make this announcement any less exciting, as this is a groundbreaking move for both UFC and the country of Russia who has clamored for an event for quite some time. While he won't be on the card, you can bet Nurmagomedov will be in attendance for his people, and the company has other Russian stars they can showcase for the event.
More UFC news, rumors
- According to MMA Fighting, Nate Diaz will be placed under investigation by the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department for his alleged role in a brawl at a recent Combate Americas event. Diaz was attending the event in the corner of teammate Chris Avila when he was involved in a . During the scuffle, Diaz reportedly shoved Guida into a guardrail and Guida has since accused Diaz of battery. Diaz has been rumored to be returning to the UFC after nearly two years away this summer, but there's no telling how this investigation may affect those plans.
- UFC bantamweight John Dodson wanted to stay with UFC, and that's exactly the wish he's been granted. MMA Fighting was first to report that the free-agent Dodson has agreed on a new four-fight deal with UFC. Dodson, who owns a victory over reigning bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw, was victorious in his last outing at UFC 222 on March 3, a split decision win over Pedro Munhoz. His contract expired after that victory, but worrying about potentially needing to find a new fighting home is no longer a concern for the 33-year old.
- As she bides her time until she can get a shot at the women's flyweight championship, Valentina Shevchenko will use some of that down time to try her hand at broadcasting. Shevchenko will join the Spanish broadcast team for the UFC Fight Night 129 event in Chile this weekend. According to MMA Junkie, Shevchenko, born in Kyrgyzstan, learned to speak Spanish during her time training in Peru.
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