Follow me on this one for a bit, as it is mildly obscure. Russian billionaire Ruslan Suleymanov runs the LEGEND fight promotion in Russia which has promoted two events so far, both being excessive affairs that cost millions of dollars apiece. Tack on the fact that the UFC has been looking for inroads into Russia and have been finding some resistance from former foes in M-1 Global as well as the Russian government, who is tied with M-1 Global. Who can help the UFC? Why, Ruslan Suleymanov, of course.
If you don’t remember LEGEND, well, I don’t blame you, because it is primarily a Kickboxing promotion with a few MMA fights in there, but they were the ones who booked Cro Cop and who brought over Alistair Overeem, Frank Mir, Fabricio Werdum and Jon Jones to an event. Hell, we had video of Jon Jones and Frank Mir scuffling after the event. Suleymanov was on hand for UFC 169 and met with both Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta, offering them traditional Russian gifts of what looks like capes and scepters. Kind of weird, I know, but apparently it was a business meeting.
I’m not sure that Dana and Lorenzo are looking for partners as much as they are looking to just shoehorn themselves into an area as usual.
Ruslan Suleymanov with @lorenzofertitta and @danawhite – @Legendashow and @ufc together #legendashow #ufc #mma pic.twitter.com/GyXamnurSj
— Legendashow (@Legendashow) February 1, 2014