10 UFC fighters from countries you've probably never heard of

10 fighters in the UFC have introduced MMA fans to new cultures and countries.

Shavkat Rakhmonov, Kazakhstan
Shavkat Rakhmonov, Kazakhstan / UFC
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
2 of 5
Next

Modestas Bukauskas, Lithuania

There are a few UFC fighters (past and present) from Lithuania including Julija Stoliarenko, Ernesta Kareckaite, and Modestas Bukauskas, to name a few.

Bukauskas once talked about his father who learned to fight on the streets of the then-Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic.

"In the Soviet Union he basically mixed together different arts, a bit of [Soviet combat sport] Sambo, a bit of karate, a bit of street fighting from being in the army, he kind of blended those together," Bukauskas said (h/t Daily Star). "These were all guys who knew martial arts that were essentially street fighters. "Some of the techniques, little tricks of the trade that people don't know about in certain positions."

Lithuania is located in Europe near Poland and Belarus. As of 2021, the population of Lithuania is 2.801.

Valentina Shevchenko, Kyrgyzstan

Former UFC champion Valentina Shevchenko is the most recognized UFC fighter from Kyrgyzstan, but there have been others.

Rafael Fiziev is from Kyrgyzstan, but in 2021 announced he'd no longer represent the country due to harassment.

“That’s it, I’m done. Nothing ties me to Kyrgyzstan anymore. My family and I are considering moving. I will no longer compete for Kyrgyzstan,” Fiziev wrote on his Instagram page (the post has since been deleted). “My family and I have been subjected to harassment by the muftiate and other well-known people in Kyrgyzstan. Because of this unjustified harassment and lying videos, my family and I receive angry messages, hundreds of them."

Kyrgyzstan is located in central Asia and is a part of the historic Slik Roas. As of 2021, the country boasted a population of 6.692 million.

Ion Cutelaba, Moldova

Ion Cutelaba is certainly a name UFC fans know. But how many fans know about his home country of Moldova?

Cutelaba was the first Moldovian in the UFC when he made his debut in 2016. But he's not the only fighter now. Alexander Romanov is also from the country as is Sergey Spivak.

Moldovia is an Eastern European country that borders Ukraine and Romania. As of 2021, the population was 2.615 million.