During the week, UEFA and FIFA allowed the U17 national teams to compete, and Sunday the Russians were again pleased with the Absolute Fighting Championship. The UFC initially refused to suspend domestic fighters, but demanded to perform in a neutral status. But on Sunday, October 8, the head of the promotion, Dana White, allowed the return of the tricolor.

"I thought, 'it! We're bringing them back," White said at a news conference.

According to the head of the UFC, initially he did not understand that the flag ban would be a big problem. However, over time, he no longer liked what was happening, so now the fighters are free to represent their countries.

"There's a lot going on in such a big organization. It is impossible to personally control absolutely everything. Sometimes decisions are made with the best of intentions or something. Everyone in this room knows how I feel about a lot of things. In most cases, it can be formulated as: "I don't care." Everyone became too soft and sensitive. Initially, when that decision was made, I thought, "So what if they don't have flags?" But the Mexican Independence Day tournament changed my mind. So the flags are back. And I don't care if any of them hurt your feelings," White said.

Thus, on October 14, at the UFC Fight Night 230 tournament, Irina Alekseeva will be the first of the Russians to fight Melissa Dixon with a tricolor. And then on the 21st, fans will see the symbol of the country at the duel between Islam Makhachev and Charles Oliveira, when the domestic athlete will again defend the belt.

In Russia, they reacted positively to Dana White's decision. Former MMA fighter Jeff Monson praised the head of the UFC. In his opinion, the functionary does not mix sports and politics.

"Athletes represent their country regardless of the opinions of its population. They were born there, grew up, trained, and that's where their team comes from. Why can't they represent their homeland? I hope that other sports organizations, including the IOC, will follow suit," Match TV quoted Monson as saying.

AMC Fight Nights President Kamil Hajiyev called White's decision a big enough step forward for Russia and its sport.

"In my opinion, it is a bit difficult to compare it with the actions of UEFA and FIFA in relation to our youth teams, due to the specifics of football itself. But the UFC is one of the top 10 leading sports organizations in the world. It can be said that it is a flagship in its industry. I believe that Dana White's authority should encourage other organizations to follow suit," Hajiyev told RT.

And according to AMC Fight Night welterweight champion Dmitry Bikrev, the return of the flag to UFC tournaments is much more significant than the admission of the Russian U17 youth teams to FIFA and UEFA tournaments.

"However, it's hard for me to say whether others will follow Dana White, we are more likely to express hope for that, given the size of the organization," the source told RT.

ACA heavyweight champion Evgeny Goncharov, in turn, is confident that the return of the flags will give additional motivation to Russian UFC fighters performing overseas.

"They will be able to glorify their country despite the situation in the world... Good news," the athlete said.

At the same time, Olympic champion Svetlana Zhurova expressed doubt that the decision of the head of the UFC would actually be executed. Because unfriendly countries will try to fight it in every possible way.

"Are the opponents ready? Are the fans ready? Will there be protests or not? To be honest, I don't want to believe the words, I want to believe the actions. We saw what the tennis federation did. They didn't negotiate anything, they just took and fined Wimbledon.

There are competitions in which our athletes perform under their flag, but Western propaganda makes sure that news about this does not appear anywhere. Is the fighting community ready for the fact that a big fight with the participation of a Russian will be completely blocked and the press will not talk about it, because there were Russian flags there? And if the Russian wins, then the information about this will be 100% blocked. They will do everything to prevent this from happening," the State Duma deputy is sure.