Putin grants Russian citizenship to US athlete Jeffrey Monson

Moscow,   Russian President Vladimir Putin has granted Russian citizenship to US mixed martial artist Jeffrey Monson, according to a presidential decree published on Tuesday.

Monson, 47, had won 61 out of 88 mixed martial arts fights he had participated in, 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. Many times he began his fights to the tune of the Soviet anthem, TASS news agency reported.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Monson was granted Russian citizenship due to his fame in the field of sports.

He said that Monson had applied for citizenship and fulfilled all the necessary procedures, but the final step to becoming a citizen required him to take his oath.

In the last few years, Putin has signed decrees granting Russian citizenship to various famous figures including US actor Steven Seagal and French actor Gerard Depardieu.