On January 27, newly-elected United States President Donald Trump issued an executive order which effectively blocked entry by citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries into the U.S. His decision, an extension of his campaign promise to ban Muslims from entering the country, will likely impact various sports, including the UFC.
The UFC has a handful of fighters who have familial ties to the seven banned nations. One of them is Iranian-born Gegard Mousasi, who expressed concern over his re-entry into the United States following a UFC 210 match-up with Chris Weidman in Buffalo, New York.
“I have the Dutch nationality, but I also have a visa,” Mousasi told Telesport (h/t Fansided.com). “But even with a visa you get in trouble, I heard. I’ll hear more about it this week though. The UFC lawyers are busy, and the people who arrange the visas are too. So it is not in my hands. My job is to train and get ready for the game. It’s just annoying.”
Trump’s executive order will primarily impact citizens from the seven Muslim-majority countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Sudan, and Yemen) as well as refugees during a global crisis. Mousasi, who was born in Tehran, Iran to Armenian parents, still plans to continue training for the upcoming fight, though questioned the direction U.S. policy is heading in.
“This [ban] is not the right direction,” said Mousasi. “There seems to me a bit too much turmoil in the world, and this is certainly not a positive way. For years there were working relationships between countries, and now with Trump, there go all the years that worked for peace. I think he’s a bit of an arrogant guy, he does things his way, but I think he has little understanding of politics. I’ll wait for this week, and stay quiet in training, which is also good for my next fight.”
UFC 210 is scheduled to take place on April 8, 2017 at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, New York.