Mon­son will have the last fight of his career with Russ­ian Oleg Tak­tarov. The book­mak­ers have already cho­sen the favorite, but not every­one agrees with them.

In 2018, MMA fight­er Jeff Mon­son received a Russ­ian pass­port, and 5 years lat­er he renounced his US cit­i­zen­ship — all that remained was to resolve all the issues on paper. The ath­lete claims that he lived in com­plete com­fort in the States, but still chose Rus­sia: “I had a good house, a car, more mon­ey. In gen­er­al, the infra­struc­ture there is bet­ter — roads, for exam­ple. But the prob­lem is dif­fer­ent: there are good peo­ple in Amer­i­ca, but the coun­try itself is soul­less. I miss my fam­i­ly, but that’s all.”

Before the fight with Russ­ian Oleg Tak­tarov, Jeff Mon­son admit­ted that some rel­a­tives and friends stopped com­mu­ni­cat­ing with him — all because of the pro­ce­dure for renounc­ing Amer­i­can cit­i­zen­ship. “Some fam­i­ly mem­bers refused to com­mu­ni­cate with me and are not talk­ing. The same thing hap­pened to sev­er­al friends in my cir­cle. I will nev­er come to the USA again, and they won’t even give me a visa,” the fight­er shared in a con­ver­sa­tion with TASS.

On August 18, the fight between Mon­son and Tak­tarov is sched­uled to take place — the last fight in Jeff’s career. In turn, the first UFC cham­pi­on from Rus­sia will enter the pro­fes­sion­al ring for the first time in 15 years.

Who will win?

Both fight­ers are hon­ored vet­er­ans of mixed mar­tial arts and are in approx­i­mate­ly the same age and weight cat­e­gories (Jeff is 52 years old, Tak­tarov is 55 years old), but Mon­son has the advan­tage of nev­er stop­ping par­tic­i­pat­ing in fights. True, Jeff came out of one such bare-knuck­le fight with Alexan­der Emelia­nenko as a los­er.

Before the head-to-head fight, the two heavy­weights tra­di­tion­al­ly took part in the weigh-in. Tak­tarov and Mon­son showed almost the same body weight — 105.35 kg and 105.15 kg. The bat­tle of views took place in Zaryadye Park against the back­drop of the Krem­lin.

Book­mak­ers are bet­ting on 55-year-old Tak­tarov: the Russian’s vic­to­ry is esti­mat­ed at odds of 1.50, but Monson’s vic­to­ry has odds of 2.40. The head of the FIGHT NIGHTS pro­mo­tion com­pa­ny, Kamil Gadzhiev, sug­gest­ed that the fight would end in a draw. The fight will take place as part of the Fight Club tour­na­ment and will begin no ear­li­er than 23:00 Moscow time.

Alexan­der Emelia­nenko has his own fore­cast: “I’m def­i­nite­ly bet­ting on Mon­son. Jeff, unlike Tak­tarov, was active, he per­formed all these years. And Tak­tarov talked more than played sports. If this fight is real, then Tak­tarov has no chance — Mon­son will smash him to one wick­et.” The MMA fight­er is also con­fi­dent that he could beat Tak­tarov even with his eyes closed, Match TV reports.

Taktarov’s secret technique

Ear­li­er, the first UFC cham­pi­on from Rus­sia said that he want­ed to apply a painful tech­nique to the Achilles ten­don: “To be hon­est, I would like to break his Achilles or give him a knee lock.” Tak­tarov admit­ted that the fight with Mon­son forced him to return to prop­er phys­i­cal shape, which he was very hap­py about.