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Tumenov: UFC is not interested in promoting Russian fighters

The newly-signed ACB fighter was critical of the UFC’s flawed promotional tactics with Russian fighters. 

MMA: UFC 192-Jouban vs Tumenov Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Over the past few months, Russian-based organizations such as Absolute Championship Berkut (ACB) and Fight Nights Global (FNG) have become home to UFC veterans frustrated by their former employers. Fighters such as talented light-heavyweight Nikita Krylov and welterweight Albert Tumenov are among the latest to return to the Russian regional scene boasting contracts significantly more lucrative than their former UFC deals.

According to Tumenov, not only did the UFC refuse to improve the conditions of his current contract, they presented the Kabardino-Balkaria native with an unrealistically low offer to resign with the company. Despite no plans to part ways with the UFC at the time, the UFC negotiation tactics left Tumenov little choice.

“In the end, we decided that we needed to get away from there,” Tumenov told “ACB League was interested in me, and made a good offer. I had not planned to leave the organization. Let's see what will happen in the future.”

During his tenure with the UFC, Tumenov complied a 5-3 record that included losses in two of his three most recent Octagon outings. His most notable victory was a 2016 win against Lorenz Larkin. Following consecutive submission losses to Gunnar Nelson and Leon Edwards, Tumenov signed with ACB and will compete at welterweight. His upcoming fight against Marcelo Alfaya at ACB 61 will mark his first fight in Russia since 2013.

Yet while ‘Einstein’ will fondly recall fighting in front of an American audience, he was highly critical of the UFC poor promotional tactics for foreign talent like Russian fighters.

“It is complicated for Russian fighters to perform [in the UFC],” Tumenov explained. “It's still an American organization. They try to promote their own. Fighters from Russia did not bring a lot of money for promotional campaigns.

“They are not interested in promoting Russians.”

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