Nikita Krylov said no to Ukrainian flag on shorts and walk-out, UFC reports

Joshua Rogers July 20, 2022
Nikita Krylov said no to Ukrainian flag on shorts and walk-out, UFC reports

Ukrainian mixed martial arts fighter Nikita Krylov told UFC president Dana White he didn’t want the Ukraine flag displayed on his shorts or flown during his walk-out at UFC London, as reported by Essentially Sports.

Krylov has been reluctant to comment on the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia, prompting fans to speculate whether his heritage ties in with his refusal to wear the Ukrainian flag in the octagon.

Amid the latest development, we take a look at Nikita Krylov’s background.

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Ukrainian fighter said no to flag on shorts and for walk-out

The Ukrainian fighter appeared at UFC London at the weekend to go head to head with Scottish fighter Paul Craig.

According to Essentially Sports, Nikita Krylov told UFC president Dana White he didn’t want the Ukrainian flag on his shorts or flown during his UFC London walk-out. The majority of fighters fly their country’s flag during their walk-out but, amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Krylov decided against it.

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Krylov performs under neutral flag

Krylov was born in Donbass in south-eastern Ukraine. The region splintered from Ukraine and parts of Donbass are controlled by separatist groups as a result of the current conflict. Krylov now lives and trains in Russia, Eprime Feed reports.

After his decision not to wear the Ukrainian flag for the UFC London walk-out, it was reported Nikita Krylov was allowed to perform under a neutral flag. As a result, the UFC fighter had the Ukrainian flag removed from his fight card for the event.

Nikita Krylov keeps conflict opinion to himself

Krylov’s refusal to wear the Ukrainian flag on his shorts surprised few fans of the sport as the UFC fighter has been reluctant to speak about the conflict in the past.

As reported by RT, Krylov told Russian channel Match TV: “Now there are many athletes, many fighters talking about the main topic they are raising.

“Even if it were interesting for me to develop (this topic), I understand there will be people with a different opinion, and there will always be an opposite side, and this will cause a lot of negativity. Why make people feel negative?”

He continued: “It’s best to keep your opinion to yourself then. It is clear I have only one topic in my head and I don’t want to voice it, but everything that is happening in the media now, for some public people, 60 per cent to 70 per cent are drawing attention to themselves.

“They are not so interested in changing something as expressing an opinion and drawing attention to themselves. I have no desire to draw attention to myself.”

Due to his heritage, Krylov has carried both the Russian and Ukrainian flags on past visits to the octagon.

In his fight at UFC London, Krylov lost in the first round after Craig made him submit via a triangle choke-hold.

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Joshua is a senior sports writer with over four years' experience in online writing. He graduated with a BA in Ancient History from The University of Manchester before receiving an MA in Sports Journalism from The University of Central Lancashire. He became a trending writer for a leading social publisher and later spent time covering the 2018 World Cup for The Mirror Online. He then moved to a social marketing agency where he acted as website editor. His specialties on The Focus include F1, tennis, NBA, NFL and combat sports.