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Longtime MMA fighter Jeff Monson seems to have stayed busy since announcing his retirement from combat sports last month.
The 51-year-old apparently worked hard to put together a documentary about the Donbass region in Ukraine. Monson detailed the project in a recent interview with RIA Novosti which was posted on Telegram (h/t bloody elbow).
“The film is called ‘Eight Years Ahead.’ It’s actually going to be finished at the end of the month,” Monson said in the video. “We’ve finished shooting, we’re editing, it’s almost finished, it’s two weeks away from being completely finished. The whole purpose of this film is to show people – the whole world has forgotten the people of Donbass. Six months ago everyone was like, “Oh, Russia is so bad, Russia is invading Ukraine.” No, Russia came to save the people of Donbass. And people say, “Where is Donbass, where is Donetsk?” No one in the world, except perhaps Russia, understood what was happening.
Donbass is located in eastern Ukraine, and the regional cities of Donetsk and Luhansk are currently controlled by pro-Russian separatist groups amid the ongoing conflict between the two countries.
Monson’s last pro-Russian move
Although Monson’s involvement may be less direct, he is far from the only combat sports athlete to voluntarily engage in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Several athletes have lost their lives in the fights, while current Bellator welterweight champion Yaroslav Amosov has actively documented his own experiences defending his home country.
This documentary is not the first time that Monson has openly expressed his support for Russian interests. The 51-year-old obtained Russian citizenship in 2018 and displayed his “Russian soul” in previous videos on Russian media.
“The Snowman” was one of the sport’s early pioneers who competed in his first MMA fight in 1997. A professional career of nearly 90 official fights saw him fight around the world for promotions such as M-1, Road FC, PRIDE, Cage Warriors, Strikeforce and the UFC.
Monson challenged Tim Sylvia for the UFC heavyweight belt in 2006 at UFC 65, losing a unanimous decision. Although he fought a Russian neo-Nazi earlier this year before announcing his retirement, the last MMA fight listed on his official record by Tapology was a draw against Nikolai Savilov in 2016 at Arta MMA: Battle for Ryazan.
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