Sports

Bellator’s Yaroslav Amosov Wins Title Amid Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

Bellator MMA welterweight champion Yaroslav Amosov, who has postponed his professional career to serve his native Ukraine, posted a video of himself restoring his 170-pound belt amid Russia’s ongoing action. Friday’s invasion.

Amosov, 28, has posted several videos on Instagram, as well as a photo of himself with a military unit holding the belt. He said his location is Irpin, a town located just outside the capital, Kyiv. Ukrainian forces recently recaptured Irpin from the Russian army.

According to Bellator officials, Amosov usually resides in Irpin.

Amosov (26-0) was scheduled to defend his title against Michael Page on May 13 in London, but withdrew from the match at the end of February to defend his country. He is one of a number of combat sports athletes to do so, including retired boxers Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko and active boxers Vasiliy Lomachenko and Oleksandr Usyk.

In the video, Amosov emerges from an underground room with a bag with his Bellator strap. In a translation provided by Bellator officials, Amosov credits his mother for storing the belt where it “survived the bombing.”

According to a statement in February, Amosov said he had evacuated his family to a “safe zone” and pledged to “defend this country as best as possible.” There is no timeframe on eventually returning to the cage. In his absence, Bellator booked an interim title match between Page and Logan Storley on May 13.

https://www.espn.com/mma/story/_/id/33648744/bellator-yaroslav-amosov-retrieves-title-belt-amid-russian-invasion-ukraine Bellator’s Yaroslav Amosov Wins Title Amid Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

Luke Plunkett

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