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Alexander Volkov could be forced out of UFC London main event due to invasion of Ukraine

Jason Burgos
alexander volkov, ufc london
Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The Russian invasion of Ukraine could force Alexander Volkov out of his planned UFC London main event fight on March 19.

The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine is reverberating on various levels throughout the globe. And that includes in the sports world. The latest effect the war in Eastern Europe has had on professional athletics is the news that the UFC’s return to the UK may need a new headliner.

On Saturday, a member of the British Parliament handling international visas, Priti Patel, tweeted that she would not be approving visas for athletes entering England from Belarus and Russia. The two nations have aligned in the invasion of Ukraine. “The UK will not welcome the national sports teams of those countries who are complicit in Putin’s unprovoked and illegal invasion of #Ukraine,” she wrote.

Alexander Volkov could be forced out of UFC London headliner

The UFC’s card in London next month includes four athletes from Russia. Timur Valiev, Shamil Abdurakhimov, Sergei Pavlovich, and main event participant Volkov (34-9).

MMAFighting reported on Saturday that sources with knowledge of the situation informed them that “Volkov’s visa is now at risk, and the UFC is currently looking into the situation for possible solutions.”

It is unclear if his UFC London bout against Tom Aspinall will be rescheduled or if the Englishman will land a new opponent.

Sports figures and bodies condemn Russian invasion of Ukraine

alexander volkov, ufc london
Credit: USA Today Network

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, several sports governing bodies and athletes have come out in condemnation against plans to retake lands that were once a part of the former Soviet Union. Earlier in the week, the UEFA final was moved from Russia to France, and the International Olympic Committee pushed sports bodies to remove future events from both Russia and Belarus.

Furthermore, former heavyweight boxing champions and Ukrainian natives, Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko stated they would take up arms and help to defend their homeland against their invading neighbor. All Ukrainian men aged 18 to 60 have been forbidden to leave the country and are being formally drafted into the nation’s military.

Volkov is a former Bellator heavyweight champion that has racked up a 8-3 record inside the Octagon.