“Words have consequences.”
That’s the message Natan Levy passed along to an online troll after he offered to come to Las Vegas and clash with the UFC veteran to defend well-known white supremacist Nick Fuentes. While altercations erupt on social media quite often, the 31-year-old lightweight — who moved from Israel to the United States to pursue his MMA career — took this particular challenge a little more seriously.
“A lot of people talking s*** online, allow themselves to say really disgusting things about Jewish people, other religions, different colors, everything that’s not white, they allow themselves to speak in really disgusting ways,” Levy told MMA Fighting. “I saw a tweet, somebody tagged me, and some white guy was flexing his triceps saying he could take on anybody because he’s white. I mocked him and obviously this guy is a follower of Nick Fuentes and this guy is a raging antisemite, a raging neo-Nazi, who praises [Adolf] Hitler, so I mocked him.
“Somebody jumped on the thread and said he was willing to spar with me in my gym and destroy me to defend Nick Fuentes’ honor.”
Days later that Twitter troll showed up at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas and after signing a waiver, he found himself standing in a cage opposite a 9-1 professional fighter.
Before they started throwing hands, Levy first took time to speak to his opponent named Ben to see if he could understand why he was vehemently defending someone like Fuentes. Levy discovered — to no surprise — that the kid spouting off at him on social media was singing a much different tune in person.
“Honestly, I didn’t think he’d show up,” Levy said. “But I said sure yes, come on. I wasn’t expecting him to actually do it. I was glad he did. At least props to him on that. About his world views, less props because he was kind of denying the holocaust and really just defending the most hateful, disgusting point of view that you could have. All this under the guise of ‘I was just having fun online, I was just kidding around’ but words have consequences. Actions have consequences.
“I don’t care if you were joking or not. Some things you don’t say and if you come to my gym challenging me, disrespecting me, my heritage, my religion, you’re going to get it. Online it was ‘I’m going to f*** you up.’ In person it was ‘Very nice to meet you, I’m Ben.’ Obviously it’s not that easy. For us as people to be disrespectful to someone in front of us, that’s one thing but online it’s so much easier.”
It didn’t take long for Levy to realize that the kid who showed up to the gym really had no idea what he was talking about, especially when he was pressed on subjects like the Holocaust.
That may have frustrated Levy even more than the initial encounter on social media because ultimately Ben was just repeating misinformation that he heard Fuentes spouting in past interviews.
“If you don’t know, why are you opening your f****** mouth, bro?” Levy said. “At least have an opinion. You don’t even have an opinion. You’re just trying to be a hater and a mouthpiece for Nick Fuentes. He says something and you repeat it. Have your own thoughts at least.”
Once they got in the cage together, the “fight” went as expected.
Levy toyed with the troll for a few moments before eventually tossing him to the ground where he caught several submissions before eventually just pummeling him with punches. At one point, Ben actually started shouting “I’m sorry,” which prompted UFC middleweight Chris Curtis to yell back “what the f*** you mean sorry? You won’t do that s*** again will you?”
The sparring session could have gotten much worse but Levy insists that he wasn’t trying to savagely beat an outgunned opponent. Instead, he just wanted to teach Ben a lesson he won’t soon forget — along with the message that he might want to get some better role models.
“He came in and he was very respectful, polite, apologetic, maybe he thought because he said he was joking around that I was going to take it easy on him and we’re just going to play around,” Levy said. “He’s going to get a free session with a UFC fighter. No, words have consequences. Of course, I couldn’t kill him. I couldn’t send home in an ambulance. There’s some liability here still and it wouldn’t be right.
“In my mind, he’s a confused kid who has the wrong influence fed to him. He probably doesn’t have a good mentor in his life. I think we needed to keep some of his brain intact so he could actually absorb the lesson and learn something from it and maybe remember the evil Jew that had some mercy on him and showed him some kindness.”
Before it was all over, Levy made sure to shout “F*** Nick Fuentes,” although he doesn’t expect he’ll ever get the chance to say that in person.
“He’s a total coward,” Levy said. “Nick Fuentes has got a big mouth but no balls. He didn’t show up. He let this other kid show up and then he completely disowned him online and made fun of him, trying to get himself away from the situation. Nick Fuentes’ honor still has not been defended.”