MMA champion withdraws from title fight to defend Ukraine

Bellator’s welterweight champion Yaroslav Amosov has recently informed Bellator that he will be withdrawing from the title bout against Michael “Venom” Page originally scheduled for May 13.

With the invasion Ukrainian, many Ukrainian athletes have opted to join Ukraine’s defenses and defend their home country in the armed conflict. Former Boxing champion Vasyl Lomachenko has refused a title shot in order to defend his home country. Meanwhile Usyk will be leaving Ukraine soon with a special permission in order to start a round of prep for June boxing bout.

Yaroslav Amosov is no different. The Welterweight champion will miss out on his first Bellator title defense in order to defend Ukraine.

Amosov was at Tiger Muay Thai in Thailand until recently. There he was in the company of many combat sport elites including Petr Yan, Khamzat Chimaev and more.

In an interview with ESPN, Amosov explained his reasons for staying in Ukraine.

“Probably, many will think that I ran away, I’m hiding or something like that, but this is not so,” said Amosov, “I took my family to the safe zone. Now I have returned and will defend this country as best I can, with what I can. I love this country, our own. Russia came to our house and started a war here, many people are dying – innocents, women, and children.”

“We are in a real war. I cannot understand those people who do not believe that Russian troops entered Ukraine. I see it with my own eyes, I hear it. Terrible things are happening here.”

Amosov will put his perfect MMA career on hold until the Russia-Ukraine conflicts are resolved. The Ukrainian holds an undefeated record of 26-0 with 19 finishes. He is mentioned by experts to be one of the best athletes outside the UFC.

With Amosov’s withdrawal from competition, Bellator announced that they will not be stripping his title but they will be making an interim title instead.

Amosov’s original opponent Michael “Venom” Page will now face Logan Storley for the Interim Welterweight Title. The bout will take place in Page’s hometown in London, on March 13.