The UFC will be returning to Russia in 2019, but this time it will be inside a much bigger stadium. This past September, the UFC made their debut in Russia with a card headlined by Mark Hunt and Alexey Oleinik. Oleinik defeated Hunt via first-round submission by way of rear-naked choke. The show took place from the Olympic Stadium in Moscow packed with 22,603 fans.
Now, Andrei Arlovksi’s manager, Anton Glazyri, reveals in a recent interview with Russian news outlet TASS that “The next fight for Andrei Arlovski will be held in St. Petersburg. Who will be a rival is still unknown.” According to the MMA Team Dagestan Twitter account, who frequently breaks news pertaining to Russian MMA, the event will take place from the new Gazprom Arena on April 20th.
The Gazprom Arena hosted several games during the 2018 FIFA World Cup. It fit up to 65,000 people for the soccer games. It has been said that Gazprom Arena can fit up to 80,000 people for a UFC event:
⚡UFC returns to Russia on April 20. The event will be held at the newest stadium in Russia with a capacity of 80 thousand people.
It is not yet clear whether the event will cover the whole arena or limit itself to a part of. #UFCSanktPetersburg pic.twitter.com/p7R9vCKLVO
— MMA TEAM DAGESTAN (@MMATeamDagestan) January 11, 2019
This would be a much larger event if Russia’s biggest MMA star, UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, could be involved. Unfortunately, Khabib is awaiting punishment from the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC). He was involved in a post-fight brawl at UFC 229 following his win over Conor McGregor.
What do you think about the UFC returning to Russia for a big stadium show?