Yaroslav Amosov walks to the cage to face Douglas Lima...

Yaroslav Amosov walks to the cage to face Douglas Lima at Bellator 260 on June 11, 2021. Credit: Bellator/Lucas Noonan

Yaroslav Amosov, the undefeated Bellator welterweight champion, withdrew from his scheduled title defense next month to stay and help defend his home country of Ukraine as it continues to be attacked by Russia.

Bellator made the announcement Wednesday morning. 

Amosov was scheduled to fight Michael "Venom" Page on May 13 in London. Page (20-1) will now face Logan Storley (13-1) for the interim welterweight title at the OVO Arena Wembley.

“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 news release. “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.”

Amosov isn't the first Ukranian athlete to make such a decision. ESPN reported that Vasiliy Lomachenko, among the world's top boxers, withdrew from his June 5 scheduled bout with lightweight champion George Kambosos to stay home with his family and help defend his country. ESPN also reported that heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk will leave Ukraine to train for his rematch with Anthony Joshua this summer.

Latest Bellator 281 fight card

Welterweight Interim World Title Main Event: #1-Michael Page (20-1) vs. #4-Logan Storley (13-1)

Welterweight Bout #2-Douglas Lima (32-10) vs. #3-Jason Jackson (15-4)

Middleweight Bout: #6-Lyoto Machida (26-11) vs #4-Fabian Edwards (9-2)

Women’s Flyweight Bout: #3-Denise Kielholtz (6-3) vs. #4-Kana Watanabe (10-1-1)

Welterweight Bout: #8-Paul Daley (43-18-2) vs #6-Andrey Koreshkov (25-4)


Light Heavyweight Bout: Luke Trainer (5-0) vs. Simon Biyong (7-2)

Featherweight Bout: #8-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)

More MMA

Newsday LogoCovering LI news as it happensDigital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months