Now all of his students can say: “My rabbi can beat up your rabbi.”
A California rabbi stepped into the cage for his first amateur MMA bout recently and won via TKO in the second round, according to FOX News (via The Algemeiner). Yossi Eilfort began training just six months ago under former UFC fighter Thierry Sokoudjou and said he never hit anyone in the face before.
His goal was to promote self-defense and fitness in the Orthodox Jewish community. Eilfort wanted the “physical, personal, mental challenge” — not to injure someone.
“I believe if we’re not challenging ourselves, then we’re wasting time,” Eilfort said.
Sokoudjou was clearly impressed.
“I never thought that a rabbi would be interested in fighting,” he said. “But I was stoked. He never quits.”
Eilfort, 22, trained just about every day while juggling his duties at the synagogue. He even trained on Friday mornings, but had to skip his last few days of preparation before the fight to observe the Shabbat.
The big match was for Mansion Fights in North Hollywood. Before his bout, Eilfort saw a fellow fighter carted out on a stretcher.
That would not be his fate. About 20 friends, family and congregation members watched him take his opponent down and beat him up, winning by TKO. Eilfort wasn’t even giving all he had — he couldn’t.
“It was very uncomfortable hitting someone,” he said. “I actually held back, but I proved what I wanted.”
The next step? Eilfort wants to become a police chaplain and give self-defense seminars to students.
That sounds like New York rabbi and former cop Gary Moskowitz, who trains his students in mixed martial arts to defend against the awful “Knockout Game” trend. Maybe some promoter will match those two guys up in the cage. Just don’t try to hold that blockbuster on a Friday night.