The reigning Bellator welterweight champion Yaroslav Amosov is currently off the roster. He has sidelined his fighting career to join the Territorial Defense of his city in Irpin, Ukraine. He recounted the horrors he faced in the war against Russia.
Amosov is currently on a 26-fight win streak, the longest in MMA, and supposed to defend his title in London. He even started a training camp in Thailand for the fight.
However, with the tension between Ukraine and Russia reaching its boiling point, Amosov returned home to take his wife and son to safety, four days before the invasion. He also joined the local defense of his city when the war erupted.
Two months after the war began, Irpin is ruined. In April, local authorities said that around 50% of the city’s infrastructure has been destroyed.
The reigning champion shared:
“It’s hard to look at your city that was once full of happiness, life,” he said.
“It was always very beautiful here, people were happy, they were happy with their life and took pleasure in it.”
“Then simply to look at the city now, which is on fire, which is getting destroyed and it becomes horrible to look at. You couldn’t really go driving around the city because the roads were covered with trees, in some places, there were parts of houses. Destruction.”
He also shared some of the horrors he through after months in the war.
“In the first days, it was very hard to look at, to get used to all these events, to look at how people are running from their houses,” Amosov recalls. “Not everyone could leave, some people had parents who they couldn’t leave behind, who were very elderly and can’t move properly.”
“People are running … taking their children, taking their parents in their arms and running, crying, they don’t know what to do. People are running with their pets.”
“I saw this situation when a soldier was running holding a child in his arms. The child’s things were all covered in blood, but the blood was not his, it was his father’s. The mother was running behind. I don’t know in the end what happened to the child’s father, but it’s very hard to watch.”
“The child was probably aged two or three, but he didn’t even understand what was happening, I didn’t hear him crying, he was just probably in some unreal shock.”
With his MMA career forcefully put to a hold, Amosov admitted that he is itching to return and fight. He also revealed his plan to return to the cage, once things get better.
“Now [I’m] restoring my shape … I want to return,” he says. “I want the whole of our country to return to its previous life and I would want to defend my belt.”