Natan Levy has revealed that he wasn't sure if he'd be able to compete at the recent UFC Vegas 53 event owing to an injury he suffered in training.
Levy, the only Israeli competing in the UFC right now, picked up an impressive unanimous decision victory over Mike Breeden on the Fight Night card, which took place on April 30 at the promotion's APEX facility in Las Vegas.
During a recent interaction with Sportskeeda MMA's James Lynch, the 30-year-old revealed how his training partner's reluctance to let go of an armbar during a sparring session caused him a serious injury ahead of the fight.
According to Levy, his training peer was extensively trained in jiu-jitsu and caught him with an armbar during one of their exchanges. Instead of letting go when he tapped, the guy apparently held on, causing the Israeli's arm to pop.
Levy told Sportskeeda MMA:
"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. 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."
Watch our exclusive interview with Natan Levy below:
Natan Levy explains why he didn't withdraw from UFC Vegas 53 fight despite suffering a serious injury
Natan Levy took a huge risk by deciding to step inside the octagon at UFC Vegas 53 despite suffering an arm injury heading into the fight. Levy lost in his octagon debut and if things went wrong in the fight with Breeden this past weekend, he'd have suffered back-to-back defeats, leaving him 0-2 under the UFC banner.
Levy knew that there was a risk of him losing due to his injuries and said he'd have "hated" himself forever had he been defeated.
Explaining his decision not to withdraw, Levy told Sportskeeda MMA that he wanted to face adversity and overcome it. With that said, he took it as a challenge and went on to compete at UFC Vegas 53.
"[I thought] 'I want to go out, I want to fight so bad, but if I lose because of my injuries, I'm gonna hate myself forever, I'm gonna regret it forever.' But I also knew that it's something more to overcome, like if I win after all of this, it's gonna be even more worth it and it was."