Ukrainian mixed martial arts fighter Yaroslav Amosov has posted a video of himself recovering his world championship belt from a home in Irpin.
Bellator, the MMA promotional company that Amosov is signed to, announced last month that the 28-year-old had withdrawn from his May 13 title fight against Michael Page as he is “actively defending his home country.”
In the video, Amosov climbs back up a ladder in a house carrying a plastic bag, which he opens to reveal the belt.
“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 he was “getting the belt for the second time,” while laughing. “It’s in one piece and it’s rescued,” he adds.
In a separate post on his Instagram profile, Amosov is pictured holding the belt aloft while surrounded by a group in military uniform.
At 26-0, Amosov currently holds the longest active unbeaten streak in all of MMA, according to Bellator, and was chasing Khabib Nurmagomedov’s all-time record of 29-0.
“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 Bellator MMA president Scott Coker 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.”
In a video posted to his Instagram account last month, Amosov said he would “like to talk about this ‘special operation,’” a reference to the euphemistic description used by Russian officials to describe the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
“You [Russia] are not saving us, we are defending from you,” added Amosov. “Russian troops came to our territory and say that they are ‘saving.’ I wonder, whom did you save in this particular house?
“And that’s just the small part of it. Orphanages, civilians are also getting hit,” he continues as an explosion sounds in the background.
According to local authorities, around 50% of Irpin’s critical infrastructure has been destroyed.
Irpin is now under full Ukrainian control, but some Russian operatives remain in the area. Local authorities are organizing search parties for Russian soldiers who remain.
Julia Presniakova contributed to this report.