Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Maryna Moroz: UFC Russia Blocked Me Because I’m From Ukraine

UFC women’s flyweight Maryna Moroz says the UFC’s official Russian Instagram account blocked her based on her nationality.

While fighting is, in itself, an intense sport with high stakes, not many will have entered a cage in as difficult a scenario as Moroz did this past weekend. With war waging in her native country of Ukraine, “Iron Lady” took to the Octagon at UFC 272 to face Mariya Agapova.

In the context of her fighting career, Moroz’s first-round submission represented victory in her first fight since 2020, extended her win streak to three, and earned bragging rights over her former ATT teammate.

But more importantly, it saw the 30-year-old Ukrainian fight through an immense level of adversity and emotion that few will experience in their lifetime. Ultimately, Moroz proudly held her flag aloft inside the T-Mobile Arena and delivered a victory for her country that comes at a time when so many have experienced personal losses.

While her focus has, and will continue to be, directed towards her family in Ukraine, an Eastern European country in the midst of a Russian invasion, it seems the tension between the two nations hasn’t been reserved for solely across the Atlantic in Moroz’s case.

During her appearance at the post-fight press conference on Saturday night, Moroz revealed the official UFC Russia Instagram account blocked her following her previous victory, something that gave her extra motivation ahead of UFC 272.

“Yeah (I was happy with my performance). I think people forget about me,” said Moroz. “Because before I win fight, I have records, year 2020 (was my last win). But, you know, you see, Russian Instagram doesn’t post me after my (last fight). He blocked me. But after I give interview, he unblocked, but never posted me, only posted my opponent. It gave me more energy to win this fight.”

While she didn’t provide a name, the “he” she refers to could be the UFC’s Vice President of Russia & CIS, Andre Gromkowski, who frequently posts about the account’s growth across social media.

When asked why she believes the account blocked her, Moroz simply said with a shrug, “Because I’m from Ukraine.”

Moroz Reveals Difficult Pre-Fight Feelings

Following her victory at UFC 272, Moroz was brought to tears as she took the mic in front of the crowd and entire fanbase.

Having addressed the ongoing conflict in her country during fight week and spoken out against the man behind it, “Iron Lady” let her emotions out after what has undoubtedly been a difficult period for the flyweight.

Discussing the pressure she felt as she tried to balance her worries about Ukraine with the preparation for her fight, Moroz further told the media about the nerves she was feeling in the days leading up to the March 5 PPV.

“I had a lot of pressure. I was nervous about the war in Ukraine,” said Moroz. “All this week, I felt nervous, I was crying. But I tried to focus… It was really hard for me because I see in Ukraine how terrible the situation is. But I focused, and I won the fight.” (h/t MMA Fighting)

What do you make of UFC Russia’s alleged decision to block Maryna Moroz?

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