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June 29, 2021 12:19 pm
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48-Year-Old Israeli MMA Fighter Beats Opponent in Record Three Seconds After Two Fighters Back Out

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Israeli MMA fighter Haim Gozali during an interview with Israel’s Reshet 13. Photo: Screenshot.

Israeli mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Haim Gozali knocked out an opponent in a record-setting three seconds in a June 23 fight in Dubno, Ukraine.

The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu 5th degree black belt, 48, defeated Ukrainian fighter Andrey Savchuck with a heel hook seconds after the first round of the TDT Championship began. Gozali, who is nicknamed the “Israeli Batman,” initiated the clinch immediately after the fight started, pulling Savcheck into a leg lock that he then transitioned down into a heel hook, which forced his opponent to tap in only three seconds. Gozali then proudly raised an Israeli flag in the ring as the referee declared him the winner.

Gozali said he was originally scheduled to fight an Egyptian MMA fighter but a day before the match his opponent backed out, which he believes is because the athlete did not want to compete against an Israeli. He told Israel’s Channel 13 that he was then paired with an opponent from Russia, but the latter pulled out of the fight mere hours before it was set to take place.

 

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A post shared by Haim Gozali (@haimgozali)

The athlete told i24News that he was not in a good physical condition before going face-to-face with his opponent because organizers told him about the fight only two weeks prior. For that reason, he said, he knew he wouldn’t last long in the ring and decided to immediately use the heel lock maneuver. “This is my favorite move, the leg lock. That’s what I’m doing all the time [and] I practice all the time,” said the Bellator veteran.

Gozali was also surprised that the fight ended so quickly, saying it felt like it went on for longer. When asked about how his age influences his abilities as an MMA fighter, he said he believes he’s a better athlete at 48 than years ago.

“Now I’m older, I see the fight differently,” he told the outlet.

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