Israeli UFC fighter Noad Lahat claimed his first victory in the Octagon last weekend against Steven Siler at ‘UFC On FOX 12’ and then 24 hours later found himself being interviewed on CNN about the Israel-Gaza conflict.
Lahat had caught the media’s attention when he raised the Israeli flag aloft after his win and declared that he was dedicating the victory to “peace, not war” in the region, but revealed that he would now be going home to help defend his country as a member of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF).
Lahat has previously served for three years in the IDF and while he now lives in California training out of the American Kickboxing Academy fight camp, he still has family living in Israel and so he feels he can’t turn his back on the situation.
“You cannot achieve peace without being ready for war. People are attacking you, and they’re not going to stop until you’re dead, then you have to go and fight,” Lahat told CNN of his decision.
So, it seems that the 30 year-old’s 8-1 MMA career is on hold for the time being and he’s now going to be fighting in an entirely different setting than the Sap Center in San Jose, one in which the stakes are life and death.
Watch Lahat’s full interview with CNN below.