Known for his kicks, he made his UFC debut April 21, 2007 at UFC 70, earning Knockout of the Night honors at UFC 93 with a spinning back kick.
He began training judo and sambo when he was 15 years old.
He earned another Knockout of the Night with a spinning back kick, this one coming at UFC 105.
He was born in Russia but moved to Germany when he was 17 years old.
In 2011, he defeated George Sotiropoulos by decision at UFC 127.