Polish MMA fighter dies in Ukraine – media
Tomasz Walentek was killed while fighting for the Kiev regime, according to the Polish MMA Federation
The Polish MMA Federation has announced the death of fighter Tomasz Walentek, who it says passed away while fighting as a mercenary on behalf of Ukraine in the ongoing conflict with Russia.
Walentek was a promising amateur fighter and, according to RIA, won a tournament in the Polish city of Gliwice in 2021 but had recently been fighting as part of the International Ukrainian Defense Legion – a group comprised of foreign mercenaries.
“It is with great sadness that we learned of the death of Tomko, who, as a Polish volunteer, fought in the International Ukrainian Defense Legion and died there,” the Polish MMA Federation said of Walentek in a social media message.
Z olbrzymim smutkiem przyjęliśmy informację o śmierci Tomka, który jako polski ochotnik walczył w międzynarodowym legionie obrony Ukrainy i tam poległ.
Tomek brał udział i zwyciężył w Drugich Mistrzostwach MMA zorganizowanych w Gliwicach.
Spoczywaj w pokoju. pic.twitter.com/S5Y0GQMww0
— mmapolska_org (@MMAPolska_Org) July 23, 2022
It was reported that he died following artillery shelling in the Donbas region, although the Polish government has not confirmed the information.
Per reports, Walentek was a member of Warsaw’s Uniq Fight Club – a prominent mixed martial arts gym located in the Polish capital, and which has seen the likes of former world champions Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Alistair Overeem come through its doors.
Russia last month announced that it had killed up to 80 Polish “mercenaries” in an airstrike a zinc factory in Donbass, adding to the list of mounting foreign casualties who have taken up arms for Ukraine.
Walentek was one of a number of combat sports athletes fighting against Russia since the military operation began in late February.
Former world heavyweight boxing champions Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko – the former being the mayor of Kiev – have been involved in the conflict, as have top pound-for-pound boxers Oleksandr Usyk and Vasyl Lomachenko.
Reigning Bellator welterweight mixed martial arts champion Yaroslav Amosov, who is currently undefeated at 26-0, is also involved with Ukraine forces.