Yaroslav Amosov plans to be part of the many Ukrainian citizens joining together in efforts to defend their country from the recent Russian invasion.

The Bellator welterweight champion says he’s evacuated his family to a “safe zone,” but will remain in Ukraine to fight for his homeland. After months of troop buildup near the border between Russia and Ukraine, Russian troops invaded the country this past week. Russian military forces have been targeting many major cities across Ukraine.

“Greetings, probably, many will think that I ran away, I’m hiding or something like that, but this is not so,” Amosov said in video released on his Instagram account, translated by Ringside24. “I took my family to the safe zone. Now I have returned and will defend this country as best I can, with what I can.

“I love this country, our own. Russia came to our house and started a war here, many people are dying – innocents, women and children. We have to defend this country, and we succeed, friends. And we will succeed, because the truth is behind us.

“I would like to address those who subscribed to me from Russia. What is shown to you on TV, you may not watch – this is not true. If I were you, I wouldn’t even watch your news. We are in a real war. I cannot understand those people who do not believe that Russian troops entered Ukraine. I see it with my own eyes, I hear it. Terrible things are happening here. We can do this.”

Amosov is one of several notable Ukrainian fighters who have decided to stay in Ukraine and take up the fight. Former boxing heavyweight champions Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko have taken up arms and joined Ukrainian military forces. Boxing unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk has also returned to Ukraine and has been an activist in creating awareness of the conflict in Ukraine.

Amosov is currently undefeated in MMA with a record of 26-0. In his most recent outing in June 2021, he won the Bellator welterweight title with a unanimous decision over Douglas Lima.

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