Bellator Champion Yaroslav Amosov Recovers Title Belt Amid Russia Invasion
Bellator welterweight champion Yaroslav Amosov recovered his 170-pound title belt on Friday amid the ongoing Russia invasion of Ukraine.
Amosov posted videos of the recovery on Instagram along with photos of himself holding the belt with a military unit.
“A belt with the great history,” he wrote in the caption. “Now I definitely won’t give it away. My mom hid it well and it survived the bombing.”
In the video, Amosov says while laughing that he was “getting the belt for the second time.”
“It’s in one piece and it’s rescued,” he adds.
— Scott Coker (@ScottCoker) April 1, 2022
Amosov (26-0) was scheduled to defend his belt against Michael Page on May 13 in London, but he withdrew in late February to defend Ukraine, his home country. He is the latest of some combat sports athletes who have put their careers on pause.
Retired boxers Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko have taken up arms while active boxers Vasiliy Lomachenko and Oleksandr Usyk also returned to aid the country. Usyk, however, recently left to begin training for his next fight, reports have said.
Amosov holds the longest active winning streak in all of MMA, according to Bellator. He is also the first Ukrainian-born champion in the promotion.
“Like the rest of the world, we’ve been shocked by the tragic events in Ukraine and the thoughts of everyone at Bellator MMA are with Yaroslav and all the Ukrainian people during this time,” Bellator MMA president Scott Coker said in a statement.
“We wish he and his family the best and look forward to seeing him return safely to happier times, both inside and out of the Bellator cage.”
Bellator has booked an interim title fight between Page and Logan Storley on May 13.