October 7, 2022

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WATCH: Bellator welterweight champion Yaroslav Amosov recovers title belt in Ukraine in full military uniform

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Bellator welterweight champion Yaroslav Amosov opted against defending his title against Michael “Venom” Page, instead choosing to fight for his home country of Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion. But while Amosov won’t be in the cage any time soon, he still claimed a championship belt under dramatic circumstances. 

In a video posted to Instagram on Friday, Amosov – wearing a full military uniform – retrieved his title belt from what looked to be the basement of a home in Irpin. The Irpin native found the belt hidden securely in a plastic bag after climbing down to it with a ladder.  

“A belt with the great history,” Amosov’s caption read. “Now I definitely won’t give it away. My mom hid it well and it survived the bombing.”

The belt may have survived, but about half of Irpin’s critical infrastructure has reportedly been destroyed. Ukrainians have taken full control of the city, though, and local authorities are searching for the remaining Russian military remaining in the city. 

Bellator announced last month that Amosov withdrew from what would’ve been his first title defense, a fight against Page on May 13 in London, because he is “actively defending his home country.” Logan Storley took his place and will now fight Page for an interim title in Bellator London’s main event. 

Amosov is a perfect 26-0 in MMA competition, the sport’s longest active unbeaten streak and only three behind Khabib Nurmagomedov’s record of 29-0. The 28-year-old beat Douglas Lima via unanimous decision last June to win his first world title. 

It’s unclear when Amosov will be able to defend his title, but he has Bellator’s support in the meantime. 

“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 in a statement.