We haven't gotten news that hell has frozen over quite yet, but in the MMA world, it has. UFC and M-1 have partnered up to announce the formation of a new company in Russia.
M-1 and UFC will promote MMA in the form of UFC Russia. The UFC has had an increased footprint in the area due to the emergence of UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. M-1, founded in 1997, has been a consistent entity in MMA and has helped produce the likes of Alexander Volkov, Marcin Tybura and more.
You can see a press release issued to Fightful.com below.
The Russian-Chinese investment fund, Mubadala Investment Company, and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) have jointly announced the foundation of UFC Russia. The new company will promote MMA and organize new shows in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). M-1 Global is going to be a partner, responsible for scouting and signing Russian athletes to prepare them to fight in the UFC. M-1 Challenge champions will have a unique opportunity to sign contracts with the UFC.
"We are looking forward to further cooperation with the UFC and the Russian-Chinese investment fund working on developing young Russian talents," M-1 Global presidentVadim Finkelchtein said. "This partnership will benefit our sport very much. MMA is a very popular sport and cooperation of the UFC, investment fund and M-1 Global can take MMA in Russia to a 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!"
For years, UFC President Dana White and M-1 Global founder Vadim Finkelchtein have feuded, largely over the inability to make M-1 part-owner Fedor Emelianenko a part of the UFC Roster.