Main photo taken by and published with permission from Amy Kaplan
Natan Levy started his MMA career known for his striking as he has been training karate for a long time and even has his own dojo in Israel. But lately, it’s been his jiu jitsu that has been key to his victory, earning submission victories in his first two professional fights. Now Levy believes he can’t be looked at as just a striker.
“I believe so, I won this year, Gracie nationals and Gracie Worlds so I’m doing well on the ground and you can tell by the MMA fights. I’m still improving my stand up, still learning boxing and even karate, I’m developing everywhere.”
A theme in Levy’s MMA career so far has been the ability to finish fights quickly. The Israeli native hasn’t left the first round in his amateur or professional career. In his professional debut at LFA 36 in March of 2018, he submitted Marcus Sims via armbar 1:25 into the first round. It took him only 29 seconds to submit grappler Cameron Underhill via guillotine at LFA 45 in July of 2018. But that efficiency might have had a downside, it made it difficult to get him a fight.
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Full video of my last MMA fight in July 👊🏻 Like ❤️ comment 🗣 & Share 📢 to show your support! I'm fighting again next week at #LFA58 Levy 🇮🇱 vs Barahona 🇺🇲 I'm better than ever and I can't wait to show you all! 🥊 the event will take place on January 25th at the Route 66 Casino in Albuquerque, New Mexico! Get you tickets at LFAtix.com Pick "LFA58" event and Natan Levy as your fighter 🤙
“I was actually good to go within a month or so but I had trouble finding opponents. I don’t know the exact number, but the promotion was looking for opponents but they couldn’t before this one. I was trying to fight, September, October, November.”
But now he has a fight lined up, on January 25, the Syndicate MMA product will return to LFA’s cage to face fellow featherweight Henry Barahona at LFA 58. Barahona will be Levy’s toughest test to date as he comes in with a record of 3-3. Barahona is coming off of a submission win over Andrew Sosa. He also was one of the few fighters to go to a decision with top prospect Justin Gonzales. But though Barahona is tough, Levy still likes the matchup and it will help him continue to develop.
“I really like the matchup, the reason is, I like every fight to develop me and every fight that I have a different opponent it improves one part of my game. So if I’m fighting a wrestler and I’m gonna work my take down defense for a few months, I’m going to focus on it, it’s going to be better not only for this fight but for all upcoming fights. Every time I have different opponents and I work different aspects of my game, I improve more than just for that fight. The fact that Henry is a tough guy and likes to throw hands and throw down, for me it’s a good challenge.”
And his prediction is simple.
“I’m going to finish him, I know it.”
This fight is currently the only thing on Levy’s mind, but if he has his way, you will see him consistently in LFA’s cage this year, and by the end of the year, competing for their featherweight title.
“I’d like to fight at least three more times, on top of this fight, so four times in 2019 at least. Hopefully I can secure a title fight in those four fights.”