A California rabbi has won his first Mixed Martial Arts match, winning out by a technical knockout (TKO).
Rabbi Yossi Eilfort, 22, has been training since 2002 almost daily—except, of course on Shabbos—and has developed a special relationship with his Cameroonian trainer Thierry Sokoudjou.
But it was only six months ago that the rabbi entered his first competition. Now, he can add another first to his resume, as Rabbi Eilfort recently took top honors in his premier appearance in an amateur MMA match. His fight name? “The Rabbi.”
“I never thought that a rabbi would be interested in fighting,” Sokoudjou told reporters. “But I was stoked. He never quits.”
The rabbi told Fox News he wanted to give Jews a feeling of power and security in light of recent violence against the Orthodox community, but added some of the physical aspects of the sport were difficult to get behind at first.
“It was very uncomfortable hitting someone,” he said. “I actually held back.”
Eilfort will get a chance to show off his ring prowess soon, as he is slated to appear in another MMA match in Thousand Oaks, CA on January 26.