The official UFC London event poster dropped this week, still prominently featuring main eventing heavyweight Alexander Volkov. This comes despite the current events in Ukraine.
Volkov, born in Russia, is scheduled to fight surging English contender Tom Aspinall at UFC London on March 19th but will face difficulties obtaining a VISA due to current sanctions being placed on Russia.
On the card, Volkov is joined by fellow Russians Shamil Abdurakhimov, Sergei Pavlovic, and Timur Valiev. There are also two Ukrainian nationals in Nikita Krylov and Liudvik Sholinian. As of yet, the UFC has made no official statement on any changes to the card.
The UK Home Secretary Priti Patel issued a statement banning Russian national sports teams from the UK. This comes following Russia’s main airway line Aeroflot being banned from UK airspace. The news has left many with doubts over the main event taking place.
Alexander Volkov: What Does Dana Have to Say?
Alexander Volkov is a Moscow native whose fight camp Strela Team is located there. He has thus far refused to leave Russia early despite UFC President Dana White‘s encouragement, telling TSN. :
“We’re trying to get him into England sooner so he can fight”. White later elaborated further stating “I know we’ve been trying to get Volkov to leave Russia and he hasn’t wanted to”
Volkov’s manager, Ivan Bannikov, also released a statement on the matter of the Russians VISA to Sherdog.
“His VISA [has been] issued.”
“All will depend on any new sanctions. But at this moment, this is all unimportant. Our thoughts are of the people dying in Ukraine, on both sides. Our thoughts and prayers are with them”.
With so much uncertainty surrounding the main event, how hopeful are you that it takes place on March 19th?
Featured image credits to Embed from Getty Images