The main event of Bellator 281 has received a major change with welterweight champion Yaroslav Amosov still in Ukraine helping to fight off the ongoing Russian invasion.
It has been a known fact for some time that Bellator’s unbeaten 170-pound king Amosov is in his native Ukraine fighting on the front in the ongoing war with Russia. However, despite recent news that boxing heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk has been given permission to leave the country and compete in a rematch with Anthony Joshua, Amosov is not in a similar situational boat.
On Wednesday, Bellator officially announced that the 28-year-old was out of his planned May 13 title defense against English star Michael Page. The bout was set to headline the promotion’s return to the United Kingdom, and serve as the Ukrainian’s first title defense after winning the gold with a decisive victory over division legend Douglas Lima in June.
Logan Storley in for Yaroslav Amosov at Bellator 281
Along with the news that Amosov would not compete at Bellator 281, the organization also revealed that fourth-ranked welterweight Logan Storley would step in to face the top-ranked Page, and the two would compete for an interim belt inside the SSE Arena in London, England.
“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 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.”
Storley has earned this massive opportunity on the heels of a victory over Neiman Gracie in February, in a scrap that will likely land on several “fight of the year” lists in December. Storley (13-1) has won eight of his nine bouts in Bellator. His lone defeat was a unanimous decision setback to Amosov (26-0) two years ago.
Following a stunning knockout loss to three-time champion Lima in 2019, Page (20-1) has won six straight. His most recent W came via a split decision win over the Brazilian in their rematch five months ago.
Bellator 281 is set to take place on May 13 from London, England. The main card — which will air exclusively on Showtime — begins at 4 pm ET.