Earlier this week we reported that UFC breathed a sigh of relief once UFC London headliner Alexander Volkov touched ground in the UK. As per reports, UFC was urging Volkov to depart early for UK but his team declined.
His opponent, Tom Aspinall was equally nervous knowing a lot was at state. He broke the news that the main event is most likely on saying:
“No official updates, but Volkov has made it into the country. I know last week in the UK the British Boxing Board of Control [BBBofC] banned all fighters from like Wednesday or Thursday and they already had Russian fighters in the country so hopefully, that’s not going to happen to us”
As a reminder, earlier this month the Home Secretary of the United Kingdom, Priti Patel, has stated that she has canceled the visas of any athletes whose country is complicit in Russia’s invasion.
Previously, Patel had canceled a Belarusian Men’s Basketball Team that was scheduled to play on February 27. Priti Patel took to her official Twitter account to announce this news.
“I have canceled the visas of the Belarusian Men’s Basketball Team who were due to play in Newcastle tomorrow night. The UK will not welcome the national sports teams of those countries who are complicit in Putin’s unprovoked and illegal invasion of Ukraine.” Patel wrote on Twitter.
UFC is well aware of this claim – and reportedly has a replacement waiting in the wings.
“Breaking news around #ufclondon Tom Aspinall just confirmed there is a replacement for Alexander Volkov here at the hotel in reserve just in case there is any last minute political objections to Volkov’s appearance!” Nick Peete from on his social media.
Breaking news around #ufclondon Tom Aspinall just confirmed there is a replacement for Alexander Volkov here at the hotel in reserve just in case there is any last minute political objections to Volkov’s appearance! ? @btsportufc @FightDisciples
— Nick Peet (@Peety_Editor) March 16, 2022
In addition to Volkov, UFC London will also feature Sergei Pavlovich and Shamil Abdurakhimov.
During a recent interview with Barstool Sports, White gave an update on the status of Russian fighters competing at UFC London saying:
“Yeah, you know, it’s obviously gonna cause problems. But we’ll figure it out,” White said.