Holding a career record of 7-0, Noad Lahat, a former Special Forces operative, is just the second Israeli-born fighter to sign for the UFC in its illustrious twenty-year history. The son of two military generals, Noad’s mother was an integral part of the Israeli intelligence services; while his father was a formidable member of the Special Forces.
Noad “Neo” Lahat Ready to Leave His Mark on the UFC in Brazil
Noad is no stranger to high pressure environments; having fought in Gaza and Lebanon, adapting to the intensities of the UFC shouldn’t be a major issue for a man who has helped thwart the plans of notorious terrorist organizations.
Having grown up in the rough surroundings of Smaria, California, life presents a dramatic change in social scenery. From the age of five, Noad began training in the art of judo, a sport which he practiced on a regular basis for over 13 years. Initially, his dream was to participate in the Olympic Games; however, in Israel when you turn 18, military life is almost compulsory, with only the most exceptional of athletes exempt from serving. While Lahat may have fell into the bracket of gifted athletes, he chose to join the military, firmly believing that his country could benefit from his skills and expertise.
So, with that being said, the powerful competitor took a break from the rigors of athletics for almost four years. After serving his time with the military, Noad returned to judo. But, as he openly admits, it just didn’t feel the same, a change was needed, something more testing, something more severe. Enter the lure of jujitsu, unbeknownst to Noad, this was an indirect gateway to MMA.
On March 23rd in Natal, Brazil, Noad will make his Octagon debut at UFC Fight Night 38. An unforgettable night is guaranteed, a night that will bring an opponent in the form of Godofredo Pepey. A fight that will be contested at 145 pounds, Lahat has been training rigorously at the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, California. A name for the record books, Noad will be the first Israeli to fight in the UFC since Moti “The Hammer” Horenstein. Eighteen years ago, Horenstein lost to Mark Coleman at UFC 10.
Nicknamed “Neo,” Lahat made his MMA debut back in 2008, opting to join AKA in 2009. The judo black belt brawler has managed to finish six of his seven opponents, and the Israeli will look to make an unyielding statement, a declaration that he is more than just a somewhat historic statistic.
Godofredo Pepey, a finalist on the first season of The Ultimate Fighter Brazil, holds a record 1-3 in the UFC, losing his last two by way of TKO. A man who badly needs a win, Pepey will pose a challenge, but I truly expect Noad to overcome this mediocre obstacle.
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