Ukrainian UFC star was kicked out gym for wearing Russian colours after invasion

UFC star Nikita Krylov was booted out of a gym in his native Ukraine after stunning locals by turning up wearing an outfit bearing the Russian flag.

The incident happened while he was training in Kyiv shortly after Russia's illegal military annexation of the Crimean peninsula in southern Ukraine back in 2014.

Krylov was shunned by members of the gym, many of whom called for action to be taken against him, and he relocated to Moscow shortly after.

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Krylov is a open supporter of Donbas separatism, a pro-Russian movement that aims to establish the Donbas region, located in south-east Ukraine, as its own independent state.

The 30-year-old said "I consider myself Russian" shortly after moving east, but revealed that he'd apply for Donbas citizenship if the region achieved independence.

Tensions there rose sharply following Russia's annexation of Crimea, with large swathes of the Donbas becoming gripped by anti-government unrest, and when Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the region was hit first with troops on the ground – and hit hard, thanks in part to the sizable pro-Russian sentiment among locals.

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Krylov has won 29 of his 38 career fights, the latest of which came against Volkan Oezdemir at UFC 280 in October, and his knockout victory over Alexander Gustafsson at UFC Fight Night in London back in July was named 'performance of the night'.

The 30-year-old is currently ranked sixth in the official UFC light heavyweight standings. He's also former FNG light heavyweight champion.


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