Fighting Rabbi Wins First Martial Arts Match

Rabbi Yossi Eilfort of California enters amateur competition to encourage security and fitness among the Orthodox Jewish community, says he never hit anyone in the face before.

A California rabbi who began training in Mixed Martial Arts just six months ago recently won his first amateur match, knocking out his opponent in the second round, Fox Sports reported.

Rabbi Yossi Eilfort, 22, entered the competition to encourage security and fitness among the Orthodox Jewish community, according to reports, which also said he never hit anyone in the face before.

Eilfort told Fox he was interested in the physical, personal, mental challenge – not hurting his opponent. It was very uncomfortable hitting someone, he said.

Eilfort, who befriended a Krav Maga instructor 12 years ago, is not a complete stranger to martial arts, but his coach of six months was till impressed with his debut in the "octagon," as the MMA cage is called.

Thierry Sokoudjou, who trained Eilfort in Encinitas, told Fox, I never thought that a rabbi would be interested in fighting. But I was stoked. He never quits.

Nor does he quit his duties as a rabbi: According to the report about his victory, Eilfort trained every day – even on Friday mornings – while juggling his synagogue duties.

Fox reported that some 20 friends, family members and congregants watched at Mansion Fights in North Hollywood as he took down his opponent by technical knockout, or TKO.
 

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