UFC Fighter Natan Levy Fights Antisemitism Both In and Out of the Octagon

The high flying Israeli UFC star training for his fight this month tells the Journal why he took time out of his schedule to spar with a supporter of Nick Fuentes.
August 23, 2023
Natal Levy easily handled an Internet troll named Ben. YouTube Screen Shot

The best fighters on the planet usually ignore Internet trolls, but when Israeli UFC lightweight fighter Natan Levy saw a man supporting white supremacist Nick Fuentes and saying he would come to Levy’s gym, the fighter decided to make a point: He would spar with the man, identified only by his first name, Ben. “I wanted to teach him a lesson that when you spread Holocaust denial or other hate about the Jewish people online, it’s not okay,” he said.

He won’t be making a habit of fighting those trolls.

“I spar with real fighters,” he said, but “if someone disrespects my religion, my heritage and my culture I will respond either physically or verbally. Obviously, I can’t fight everyone. I don’t have the time. I defend my honor. If anyone comes after me for being Jewish, it’s not right. The hate that is spread online can become violence in the real world and not everyone realizes that.”

Levy easily took down Ben and got him to tap out; he didn’t use full force, he said, because he didn’t want to injure his opponent.

Even so, when Ben showed up at Levy’s gym, he had to sign a waiver before sparring. Before they fought, Levy asked Ben how many Jews were killed in the Holocaust. Ben replied “I wouldn’t know that off the top of my head. They say six million.” They agreed that after the fight, Ben would apologize.

This isn’t the first time Levy has gone to the mat with antisemites. After Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, made antisemitic commentsand showed up with Fuentes on Alex Jones’ broadcast and told the conspiracy theorist he loved Hitler, Levy was one of the few Jewish athletes who spoke up and said he would fight Kanye if he so desired. Would he still?

“I’m busy, but for him I would make time, he said.

Levy (8-1-0) takes on Reyes (13-3-0) on September 16. Levy has won his last two fights, against Mike Breeden and Genaro Valdez, winning both in the third round. Levy, 31, said he is confident heading into his fight against Reyes.

“My prediction is I will finish him in the first or second round,” he said. “It’s going to be a great fight but a short fight.”


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