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Nikita Krylov pauses UFC run while hoping to get life, training back in order

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

In August, MMAFighting.com's Shaun Al-Shatti wrote about how Ukrainian UFC fighter Nikita Krylov won his most recent fight while being heavily distracted by political and humanitarian issues back home.

Two months later, according to one of his coaches and agent, Alfredas Lifsicas, Krylov has decided to briefly pause his UFC run while seeking better training conditions elsewhere.

"Unfortunately, the situation in Ukraine is really hard," Lifsicas said via e-mail. "We can't put him in any kind of training. We are trying to get him out of there, but before we do that, I will not accept any fights for Nikita.

"We plan to get him to my home country, Lithuania. With my buddy Artemij Sitenkov, who also holds victories over Conor McGregor and Neil Seery, we run three gyms here and we have some good talents in light heavyweight and heavyweight. [We'll] also put him in training with the Lithuanian national Greco-Roman wrestling team, which is based here. He has potential; he's tough guy. But to make it in UFC, you need a world-class training and being a tough guy is not enough.

"We'll get [him] here, see how he looks after three months no training, put him in a regime and then I will be able to tell [when] he returns. Before that, we need to [get] him visa and get him out of Ukraine."

Krylov's hometown of Donetsk, Ukraine, has been the center of intense fighting between the government and pro-Russian insurgents for months, despite a ceasefire being announced on Sept. 5. More than 3,500 people have been killed since April.

Krylov, who is still recovering from a broken orbital bone suffered in his last fight, saw his home gym raided and stripped before his most recent win over Cody Donovan at UFC Fight Night Dublin in July. And while Lifsicas said it could take at least three weeks to get a visa, he hinted at Krylov taking the rest of the year off anyway.

"[He] had already three fights this year, but 2015 you will see Nikita back for sure, stronger and better."

The 22-year-old Krylov is 2-2 in the UFC after entering the promotion with a 15-2 record last year.

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