September 15, 2018, marked the UFC’s very first trip over to Russia. This, of course, was just the continuation of the European expansion for the worldwide leader in MMA as the second event in the promotion’s history is set.
According to MMA Team Dagestan, the UFC will hold their second event in Russia in St Petersburg on April 20. The venue name was not listed, but it is to be in the newest stadium in St Petersburg that can hold up to 80,000 people. The event will be aired on ESPN+.
Along with this report came another as Farah Hannoun revealed that a pivotal heavyweight clash is in the works between “The Demolition Man” Alistair Overeem (44-17) and Russia’s Alexander “Drago” Volkov (30-7).
— Farah Hannoun (@Farah_Hannoun) January 11, 2019
“I’m hearing that Alistair Overeem is projected to face Alexander Volkov on this event. Still early stages though but it’s in the works. #UFCRussia” Hannoun tweeted.
For the 6’7″ Volkov, this will be his first bout since having his six-fight winning streak snapped by Derrick Lewis in the first loss of his UFC career at UFC 229. After dropping a fight that he was clearly winning through its entirety, Volkov should be highly motivated to rebound and get back in the title hunt.
Alistair Overeem, on the other hand, just rebounded off some devastating losses himself as he handed Sergey Pavlovich the first loss of his MMA career in his UFC debut at UFC Beijing in November.
As this event will be aired on ESPN+, it’s unlikely that we’ll see someone like the only UFC Russian champion in lightweight king Khabib Nurmagomedov headlining here. Perhaps anything is possible though as the champion vs champion bout that is Henry Cejudo vs TJ Dillashaw will be headlining on ESPN+ next Saturday night in Brooklyn, New York.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/11/2019