With the world focused on the ongoing conflict in the Holy Land, a UFC fighter scheduled to fight this Saturday is yearning to be back home and defending his motherland instead.
Noad Lahat, UFC's second Israeli born fighter, is scheduled to face Steven Siler this Saturday at UFC on Fox 12 in San Jose. Right after the fight, he is on a plane back home to his war torn motherland. His mind might be in two places right now with him impending fight against Siler and the ongoing real conflict back home.
Lahat must first fulfill his commitment to the match this Saturday before he can gome to the real struggle and look out for his family. Win or lose, he is scheduled to rejoin family and friends in the Israel army and will be ducking real missiles and bullets instead of body blows and head strikes. Lahat, who was on the Israeli army for three and a half years will put on hold his career after the fight.
"I have to do it morally, I don't have to do it legally," he says per Yahoo! Sports. "The thing is, the whole last month and a half it's been crazy. My family has about 15 seconds every time an alarm goes off to take a shelter from missiles. And for us, it's not some faraway war on the other side of the world. It's by my home. I need to go protect my family, protect my country, protect my future."
The 30-year old fighter speaks that it is part of his nation's upbringing to defend the motherland. He was raised to a war torn country that was prepared for incoming attacks or stealth bomb. He saw friends deployed for war and never return home. Now, even he resides in the United States and leads a relatively peaceful life he must come back for duty and love of country.
Given the background of his family it is no wonder Lahat is putting high premium on honor. His parents are both generals while his older brother and sister both served in the military. Eeven his younger brother is already lined up to serve and defend Israel.
His parents are both generals. His older brother has been in the military service, as has his sister. His younger brother is preparing to serve.
Nevertheless, the show must go on in the UFC.
Lahat is coming off a disappointing debut against Godofredo Pepey last March which he lost via a TKO in the initial round. A judo player by discipline, Lahat had a hard time accepting the loss. His opponent Saturday, Siler is also coming off a loss in controversial manner against Rony Jason, his second in a row. These two are coming to a head Saturday and both are raring to redeem themselves.
This would be the battle before the war for Lahat. It could be the last one for Lahat given his precarious future but nevertheless he still would give it his all, knowing that the next day is a flight back home a more real and dangerous situation awaits.
"It's more than moral. We can't lose the war. If we lose there is no hope for me. California is not my home. I love California, and it's nice, but it's not my home. It's a great place, but it's not my place. For me, if I want to go back home, I need to protect it," Lahat declared.