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Mike Russow makes another big career move by signing a deal with the UFC.  The Chicago Police officer is ready to “patrol” the promotion’s heavyweight division.

Russow has fought in many of the long-running local promotions in the Chicagoland area including  Brawl At Bourbon Street, Xtreme Fighting Organization and Combat-Do Fighting Challenge.  He also participated last year in the debut show for Adrenaline MMA at the Sears Center in Hoffman Estates.

Competing on a major stage is not new to Russow.  He is a veteran of the late Pride Fighting Championships, and he defeated Russian Roman Zentsov in the Yarennoka – New Years Eve 2007 show in Japan.  But now he is with the top MMA promotion in the world.

“It’s really exciting being with the UFC,” says the Team No Ego fighter.  “I remember watching the UFC on TV, and since high school it’s been something I always wanted to do.”


Russow is a former high school state champion in wrestling, and trained under former UFC champion Matt Hughes while wrestling for Eastern Illinois University.  Hughes was a grad assistant coach at the time.   Russow is yet another wrestler from EIU to have made the transition to MMA, joining the likes of Hughes, Louis Taylor and Kevin Knabjian.  

Russow balances training/fighting mixed martial arts with his job as a police officer.  He works in the Englewood community in Chicago’s 7th district, known as one of the city’s most violent areas.  However, with this new career move Russow is contemplating taking a possible leave to focus all his energy on the UFC.

Manager Monty Cox and trainer Dennis Hughes  have helped Russow get to this point.   Moving from PrideFC to the UFC was a move which could have made earlier, but they decided to get some experience in Japan and  Adrenaline MMA before entering to the Octagon.

“Monte Cox and I have talked about the UFC before, but we decided to take our time, build up to it.  And now this is a dream come true.”

Aside from working with Coach Hughes at Team No Ego in Plainfield, Russow also travels to Palatine to work his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with “Comprido” Rodrigo Medeiros at FLO MMA , Naperville for strength and conditioning at Dick Cook’s Athletic Club, and boxing with Thomas Hayes at Celtic Boxing

As if the CPD and fighting weren’t enough, Russow also promotes his own MMA show called Kaos In Kankakee.  His next show will be June 13.

Russow has a four fight deal with the UFC, although he is still waiting to find out who his first opponent will be and which card he is fighting.

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