The UFC will be making its return to Russia this spring, and they will be taking one of Russia’s own with them when Alexander Volkov headlines the UFC on ESPN+ 7 event opposite Alistair Overeem. The event will take place in St. Petersburg, Russia. The event was announced by the UFC during a Q&A session ahead of UFC Prague.
Alexander Volkov is a former Bellator and M-1 world heavyweight champion and headed into his sixth UFC fight, Volkov may not be too far from adding a third title to his name in the biggest promotion in the industry. Volkov is currently ranked #5 in the world, and should Volkov be able to get past Overeem, he would be one of only two fighters in the top five coming off of a victory, with the other being Francis Ngannou. Volkov is 4-1 in the UFC and was less than 30 seconds away from being a perfect 5-0 before Derrick Lewis pulled out the come-from-behind victory at UFC 229 to earn his shot at the world title in his place. Volkov does hold a victory over a former UFC champion in Fabricio Werdum, as well as other names including Roy Nelson, Stefan Struve, and Timothy Johnson.
Alistair Overeem is still on the hunt for UFC gold himself, and after a couple of setbacks he has some work to do. The good news for Overeem is that a victory over Volkov will likely land him back in the top five of the division and put the decorated striker back within range of a title shot. Three contenders in the top five hold victories over The Reem, however, (Miocic, Ngannou, Blaydes), so you can look for Overeem to pursue avenging one of these losses next should he be able to emerge victorious in this bout against Alexander Volkov. In his last outing, Overeem defeated Sergey Pavlovich via 1st round TKO to get back in the win column following a two-fight skid.
UFC on ESPN +7 takes place April 20 at Yubileyniy Arena in St. Petersburg. Both the main card and the preliminary bouts will be stream on ESPN+.
What is your initial prediction for this heavyweight bout? Will Alistair Overeem make it two in a row? Or will Alexander Volkov improve his UFC record to 5-1?