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Bellator champ Yaroslav Amosov, ‘actively defending home country of Ukraine,’ withdraws from MVP fight

MMA: AUG 24 Bellator MMA Mitrione v Kharitonov 2 Photo by Williams Paul/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Undefeated Bellator welterweight champion Yaroslav Amosov is “actively defending his home country of Ukraine,” according to a statement released by the promotion, forcing him to withdraw from his upcoming title defense against Michael “Venom” Page on May 13.

“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,” said promotion president Scott Coker. “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.”

With the 28 year-old Amosov out of action until further notice, the promotion has created an interim welterweight title and booked Page to compete against No. 4-ranked Logan Storley in the upcoming Bellator 281 headliner inside the OVO Arena Wembley in London.

“I want to state that this special military operation is not helping people,” Amosov told his Instagram followers. “We are forced to protect ourselves. Russian troops came to this land with the idea to save civilians, but I wonder who you saved in this house. This is just one of the examples, they are bombing houses, civilians die. Horrible things are happening. I don’t understand those who don’t realize what really is going on. They watch their TVs and believe in the idea of saving civilians. But it is not helping us. I do not know how Ukrainians forgive Russians, but it is not the end. A lot of people die. I see it with my own eyes, I hear it. Now you can hear it too. Our country will protect ourselves; we will win.”

Here is the updated Bellator 281 fight card:

Bellator 281 Main Card:

Welterweight Interim World Title Main Event: Michael Page (20-1) vs. Logan Storley (13-1)
Welterweight Bout: Douglas Lima (32-10) vs. Jason Jackson (15-4)
Middleweight Bout: Lyoto Machida (26-11) vs. Fabian Edwards (9-2)
Women’s Flyweight Bout: Denise Kielholtz (6-3) vs. Kana Watanabe (10-1-1)
Welterweight Bout: Paul Daley (43-18-2) vs. Andrey Koreshkov (25-4)

Bellator 281 Preliminary Card:

Light Heavyweight Bout: Luke Trainer (5-0) vs. Simon Biyong (7-2)
Featherweight Bout: Daniel Weichel (41-13) vs. Robert Whiteford (16-4)
Welterweight Bout: Oliver Enkamp (10-3) vs. Mark Lemminger (12-4)
Flyweight Bout: Kate Jackson (11-5-1) vs. Elina Kallionidou (8-4)
Lightweight Bout:Alfie Davis (14-4) vs. Tim Wilde (14-4)
Featherweight Bout: Andrew Fisher (18-8-1) vs. Attila Korkmaz (12-6)
Light Heavyweight Bout: Lee Chadwick (27-15-1) vs. Maciej Rozanski (13-3)
Light Heavyweight Bout: Arunas Andriuskevicus (15-5) vs. David Trallero (8-5)
Women’s Strawweight Bout: Chiara Penco (6-3) vs. Lanchana Green (4-4-1)

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