In November 2020, Logan Storley came closer to defeating Yaroslav Amosov than any fighter before or since. Now he’s back with a title of his own, and ready to show that he’s leveled up.
Storley pushed Amosov to the limit at Bellator 252 as he lost an agonizing split-decision verdict to the Ukrainian over three rounds in Uncasville, but since then the four-time NCAA Division I All-American wrestler has reeled off three consecutive victories, with wins over Dante Schiro, Neiman Gracie and Michael Page. The most recent of those wins came in London at Bellator 281, where a split-decision verdict went his way and he won the interim welterweight title.
That victory put Storley in pole position to face the returning Amosov, who had returned to his native Ukraine to defend his country against the invading Russian forces. The pair will face off in the main event of Bellator 291 at the 3Arena on Saturday, February 25.
“I’m excited for the good crowd and a good fight. I’m ready,” he told reporters during media day ahead of fight night in Dublin.
“I have dramatically improved since November 2020. And that’s what any great fighter will do to continue to improve. That’s what you have to do in a sport that’s always evolving and always getting better.”
The first fight showcased the wrestling and grappling skills of both men as they tussled back and forth over three tightly-contested rounds. But now, with his last two wins over Gracie and Page both coming over the full five-round distance, Storley said he’s ready to take Amosov into deep waters in a bid to unify the 170-pound titles.
“I think the fight will come down to the small positions and who can continue to push the pace for 25 minutes,” he suggested.
“Because the first fight we were both tired at the end of 15 and it was a lot of wrestling. If you look at the Gracie fight, that was 25 minutes on the feet the whole time, so I think when my career is over, I’ll look back at the Amosov fight and realise how much I grew during that process.”
Amosov remains undefeated at 26-0, but that unblemished loss column on the Ukrainian’s record doesn’t intimidate or concern Storley, who cited some of the great champions of yesteryear as examples of legendary competitors who all eventually suffered defeats.
“Everyone can be beaten, we’ve seen it from Anderson Silva to Fedor, all the guys the world thought can’t be touched,” he said.
“If you put a shot in the right place, it doesn’t matter who you are, you can go down, so I know it’s going to be a close fight.”