Israeli UFC Fighter Dedicates Victory to Holocaust Victims

Moments after his first victory on the UFC roster, Israeli fighter Natan Levy stood in the center of the octagon and spoke not only about his keys to victory, but also made a heartfelt announcement to the audience.

“I also want to say this week was remembrance day for the Holocaust, I would take a minute of silence for every victim we had, but it would take 11 ½ years. I think the broadcast would end before that,” Levy said while out of breath. “So I will sell my fight kit, the profits will go to Holocaust victims who made it and are still alive today.”

Levy’s fans will have the opportunity to bid on his fight gear – presumably his trunks and gloves – which typically would be sentimental mementos fighters would want to keep after their first UFC win.

But for Levy, bringing attention to the thousands of Holocaust survivors around the world who are living in poverty was first and foremost on his mind.

For Levy, bringing attention to the thousands of Holocaust survivors around the world who are living in poverty was first and foremost on his mind.

“You know what [Holocaust victims] went through was horrible, some of them have survived it and are still here today,” Levy said at the post-fight press conference. “And whatever we can do to support [Holocaust victims] and bring attention to [them]there are many causes that are worthwhile, for me this is the cause that I see right now … the Holocaust survivors are very old and they’re not gonna be here forever to tell their story and to remember those who are not here.”

Up to one-third of Israel’s 165,000 Holocaust survivors live in poverty according to a PBS report on The Center of Organizations of Holocaust Survivors in Israel, a survivors advocacy group.

This comes on the heels of reports of Holocaust survivors living in Ukraine who have once again been subjected to the horrors of war. The New York Times reported the experiences of some Holocaust survivors in Ukraine who are seeking refuge in Germany, over 70 years after being persecuted.

Amid all of the violence taking place in Ukraine, stories of Holocaust survivors can get lost in the media coverage, which is why prominent names such as Levy are taking their spotlight and shifting it to the cause.

And Levy’s spotlight seems to only be growing with his first win as a fighter on the UFC roster.

The April 30th fight took place at the UFC Apex just outside of Las Vegas in Henderson, Nevada. Levy’s matchup with Mike Breeden began just after 2:00 pm local time, which was just after midnight the next day in Israel. The late hour didn’t stop Levy’s fans and family back in Israel from watching the fight live, with many of them posting videos of enthusiastic watch parties on social media.

Though he now resides in Las Vegas, this week Levy and his wife traveled back to Israel to celebrate the victory.

Though he now resides in Las Vegas, this week Levy and his wife traveled back to Israel to celebrate the victory.

“It feels amazing to go back home with the biggest win of my career,” Levy told the Journal. “I’m really happy I get to celebrate and spend time with my family and close friends I haven’t seen in so long.”

It won’t all be celebrations, as Levy continues his daily training. His commitment and skill paid off as his victory over Mike Breeden didn’t come easy. The fight went the distance (three five-minute rounds), with Levy’s left-handed counter punches being his most valuable weapon of choice. The ESPN television commentators described the Levy-Breeden fight as tough but “absolutely sensational.”

The moment after the third and final round ended, Levy and Breeden embraced in an exhausted yet respectful hug. In a unanimous decision, Levy was declared the victor over Mike Breeden (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

There’s no word yet on Levy’s next UFC fight. Details on how to bid on his fight kit to benefit Holocaust survivors will be announced on Levy’s social media accounts.

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