Former The Ultimate Fighter 39 cast member Liudvik Sholinian was scheduled to fight Nathaniel Wood at UFC London on March 19 but has withdrawn from the bout to join with Ukraine in fighting against the Russian invasion.
In a lengthy Instagram post, Sholinian revealed he’s lived in Kyiv “all my life” and feels he must join in the fight.
“Now all views and opinions are the same for everyone,” Sholinian wrote. “When they come to the house with rockets, there can be no other opinion! Nobody cares about politics. And there is no need to shout now about 8 years in the Donbass, justifying the attacks on peaceful cities! Nobody invited Russians here especially with weapons! People themselves will figure out how to live! How can WAR be justified in any way ?!”
Sholinian compared what’s happening to Ukraine to the Nazis in WW2.
Tell us about the liberation from the Nazis in the city of Kharkov!” he wrote. “A city that is being bombed non-stop! The city where everyone always spoke Russian language only!!! Or for example Odessa, Kherson, Melitopol and others… !!! Everyone there also speaks Russian language only! These cities are being bombed non-stop!!! From whom did you come to free people there?! This is insanity!!! A Russian who has ever been to these cities will understand what I’m talking about! Just turn on the logic!”
He also called out people who are not calling the conflict what it really is.
“Anyone who calls it “special military operation” is just a coward! You can’t even work up the courage to just keep quiet!”
Sholinian is the first UFC fighter to withdraw from a fight for the war, and he joins a Bellator champion and several boxers who have already joined in the fight.