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UFC London main event in jeopardy as Russia-Ukraine war threatens Alexander Volkov’s visa

Gallery Photo: Bellator 120 photos
Russian heavyweight Alexander Volkov is scheduled to headline UFC London in March.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The UFC will finally return to London on March 19, but a new main event might be needed.

The Fight Night card currently is headlined by Alexander Volkov vs. Tom Aspinall at The O2 arena, but the Russian heavyweight could face issues trying to enter the country due to the ongoing war between his home country and Ukraine, MMA Fighting has learned.

On Sunday, a member of the Parliament revealed on Twitter that “the UK will not welcome the national sports teams of those countries who are complicit in Putin’s unprovoked and illegal invasion of Ukraine.”

The lineup includes three other Russian athletes: Timur Valiev, who faces Jack Shore, and heavyweight combatants Shamil Abdurakhimov and Sergei Pavlovich.

Multiple people with knowledge of the situation told MMA Fighting that Volkov’s visa is now at risk, and the UFC is currently looking into the situation for possible solutions. It’s still unclear if the UFC would move Volkov-Aspinall to a different event in the United States, or keep Aspinall on the card against a new opponent.

Aspinall (11-2) is on a perfect 4-0 run under the UFC banner with wins over the likes of Andrei Arlovski and Sergey Spivak. Volkov (34-9) looks for his second straight victory after a decision over Marcin Tybura this past October.

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