Friday, May 27, 2022

Teenage Ukrainian Refugee Wants To Defend His Home Country

While practicing MMA in the states, 14-year-old Ukrainian refugee Yuriy Bezus wishes he was back home in Ukraine.

As the conflict in Ukraine worsens, many US residents with ties to the country worry about their families and loved ones.

Take Maryna Moroz, for instance. When the war in Europe began, she was stateside training for her bout with Mariya Agapova. And although she defeated her opponent in a dominant fashion, she still carries the pressure of concern for her homeland.

An astonishing amount of Ukrainians remained in the country to defend it. And some of those who are unable to fly to Ukraine and help yearn for the option to do so.

For example, 14-years-old Yuriy Bezus, a Ukrainian refugee fighting out of Northeast Ohio, says he would rather be fighting in Ukraine.

“I don’t want to go here. I’d rather stay there and be useful,” said Bezus. “I really wanted to stay, but my mom wouldn’t let me.”

Currently, Bezus practices MMA at Strong Style with a Russian trainer. It is the same gym as former UFC Heavyweight Champion and fireman Stipe Miocic.

Stipe Miocic
Stipe Miocic giving a lesson at Strong Style, Photo Credit: Crain’s Cleveland Business

Of course, it was a shock to leave his home suddenly. He and his mother fled Ukraine and traveled three days to Poland.

Bezus left behind friends and a girlfriend but has made some new friends, even some from his country. He is learning a new set of skills at Strong Style and gaining a safer experience.

He wanted to stay in Ukraine, but his mother insisted they leave. Surely, she is thankful for Strong Style for keeping her teenage son in a place where he feels welcome.

“People know us for fighting but we’re here to change people’s lives and there a time when people need us, like this situation,” said Strong Style owner Marcus Marinelli, also Stipe’s trainer. “Once you walk through those doors, all this stuff’s out. We’re a brotherhood here of all different kinds of people, all different walks of life, none of that matters once you get underneath this roof.” (h/t Cleveland 19)

What are your thoughts on 14-year-old Ukrainian refugee Yuriy Bezus wanting to stay and fight for Ukraine?

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