Noad Lahat won the biggest fight of his young career in a unanimous decision victory over cage-fighting veteran Steven Siler on Saturday night. Now he prepares for the fight of his life.
The Israeli reservist looks to rejoin his fighting unit this week to defend his homeland from Hamas. “I’m having fun here,” the 8-1 mixed-martial artist told Fox interviewer Joe Rogan. “This is fun. This is job. But I will have nowhere to go back home if I won’t go there.”
“It’s something I really don’t want to do,” the UFC rising star confessed. “I want to stay here and fight and enjoy the rest of the week after two really tough months.” But he can’t stay in California while his family stays under fire. The featherweight fighting on the undercard of Saturday’s UFC on Fox 12 event earned cheers from the San Jose crowd when they learned of his postfight plans.
“Last two months, I didn’t even sleep one full night,” Lahat confessed to assorted media afterward. “This was the worst fight camp I ever had by far.” He called the gym his only escape. The 30-year-old fighter candidly admits he hates wearing the uniform, eating military food, and holding a weapon. But he feels he has no choice but to return home and prepare to fight with his reserve unit. “My grandma,” he explained, “she is 80-years-old and she had fifteen seconds to run and get a shelter. And I’m here safe? It’s messed up.”
Lahat fought in the walk-in bout on a card partly broadcast on network television on Saturday night. Robbie Lawler defeated Mike Brown in the grueling five-round main event.
“As a soldier, as a combat soldier there is nothing I want in the world more than peace,” the American Kickboxing Academy product told Rogan. “I don’t want to see my younger brother go in the army.” If blood must flow, Lahat says, he wants it to flow only “right here in the octagon.”