Monday, May 16, 2022

Levy: “Idiot” Training Partner Injured My Arm Prior To UFC Vegas 53

UFC lightweight Natan Levy has revealed why he almost had to pull out of his UFC Vegas 53 fight with Mike Breeden last weekend.

Levy, who graduated through Dana White‘s Contender Series with an impressive submission victory over Shaheen Santana in 2020, was looking for his first win on MMA’s biggest stage on April 30. Having lost to Rafa Garcia on debut, the Israeli’s sophomore appearance was certainly a crucial one.

For three rounds, the pair went at it hard, leaving everything inside the Apex-located cage. Throughout the 15 minutes, both landed powerful blows, as well as finding success in the clinch and when the contest reached the ground.

The two 155lbers were clearly exhausted after delivering a war early on the card. In the end, it was Levy who had his hand raised via unanimous decision. Had the main event between Marlon Vera and Rob Font not been as good as it was, both men would have likely left Vegas $50,000 richer after their gritty displays.

Despite ultimately recording his first UFC victory, and doing so with a memorable bout, Levy has revealed that his efforts were almost stifled by a training partner, of all people.

Levy: He Didn’t Let Go…

During an interview with Sportskeeda MMA days out from his UFC Vegas 53 success, Levy discussed the adversity he had to fight through in the build-up to the event.

After noting that he’d entered the fight injured, Levy revealed that the unsafe work of a sparring partner had left him with a compromised arm during camp. After getting caught in an armbar by a talented jiu-jitsu practitioner, the 7-1 Israeli said his tap went unnoticed, or perhaps deliberately unanswered.

“I wasn’t even sure if I was going to be able to make it to the fight but they really helped me through it,” revealed Levy. “All the injuries that I had, you know, just the moment I signed the contract, I had some idiot who came into the gym. He was pretty good in jiu-jitsu and got me in an armbar. I tapped, (but he) didn’t let go (and) my arm popped.”

When it comes to unsafe workers in training, one incident that comes to mind involved Sean Strickland and Orlando Sanchez. In a video that surfaced last summer, the UFC middleweight can be seen lashing out at the multi-time BJJ champion after having his arm wrenched.

Judging by Levy’s comments, it seems his situation was relatively similar, just with actual physical damage to his arm.

Given this revelation, Levy’s first UFC victory is perhaps that extra bit impressive in the eyes of fans, and even more memorable for the 30-year-old. It stands to reason he’ll be a lot warier of gym newcomers in his future camps…

What did you make of Natan Levy’s performance given the training incident he experienced ahead of the event?

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