Editor’s Note: This interview was conducted with assistance from an interpreter.

Yaroslav Amosov drives along a bumpy road from Irpin, his hometown in Ukraine. In an alternate and proper universe, he’d be in London, weighed in and ready to defend his welterweight championship against Michael Page on Friday at Bellator 281.

Instead, Amosov is doing a different kind of defending. He’s made the drive many times before. The tires ride across sacred soil, the land he grew up on. The air is warm with the sun hidden behind an array of clouds. Despite all madness, Amosov remains calm, his signature demeanor during Bellator fight weeks.

“I was relaxing,” Amosov said calmly Thursday while on FaceTime with MMA Junkie. “Everything is well – again, besides the part where a war is going on.”

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