Israeli MMA fighter knocks out opponent who sent him antisemitic messages

An Israeli mixed martial arts fighter has knocked out his Kazakh opponent who sent him a picture of Hitler and other antisemitic profanities.

An Israeli mixed martial arts fighter had a knockout win against his Kazakh opponent, who sent him antisemitic messages in the lead-up to the bout, reports The Jewish Chronicle.

Rafael Aronov, an Israeli mixed martial arts fighter who also works as a police officer in southern Israel, received threats on Instagram from his Kazakh opponent Ilyas Sadykov in the days leading up to the March 9 fight in the Israel World Combat Championship.

The threats included a picture of Hitler accompanied by the message, „I will burn you like this guy.” Sadykov also wrote, „I’m gonna kill you b***h” and „do you like German music?” to his Jewish opponent.

Aronov did not respond to the threatening messages but shared them with an Israeli news channel. He told Now 14 that he „preferred to respond in the arena” and that the victory seemed like „a double win” because of the antisemitic messages he received. He said „trash talk” was expected between MMA athletes before a match, but Sadykov’s messages „crossed the line.”

„In this case, my opponent was revealed to be an antisemitic person who sent me a picture of Hitler about two weeks before the battle and told me that he would burn me like Hitler burned the Jews. There are lines that you do not cross, and there are things about which there is no forgiveness,”

The fight lasted about five minutes, resulting in Aronov winning his first MMA championship belt. After the fight, Sadykov accused the „fake” judges on Instagram, claiming they influenced the fight’s outcome. He requested a rematch in Kazakhstan.