Natan Levy on earning UFC contract on Dana White’s Contender Series: ‘This is just the beginning’

November 26, 2020

Looking back on his November 10 victory over Shaheen Santana at Dana White’s Contender Series that earned him a UFC contract, featherweight Natan Levy feels like he couldn’t have done much better than he did.

Even though he was moving up in weight to take the bout versus Santana on short notice, Levy was able to perform as well as he has in the past, if not better, and get a third round submission win.

“The pressure was on for sure, but I think I shine under pressure, and I think it was my best performance so far,” Levy told MMAWeekly.com. “I came in there to kill or be killed. I wasn’t going to give him an inch for free. And I think it showed he was locked in the cage with me and not the other way around.”

Though he had what he feels was his best performance so far, Levy feels there’s still a lot to work on from the fight.

“Of course I’m always going to be critical,” said Levy. “I think I should have started a little bit faster. I have this habit of first letting my opponent show me his cards and then start getting my offense on.

“Next time I’ll be the first to attack for sure. The moment I let him show me what he got, and it’s not enough, I become dominant more and more in the fight.”

While in the moment Levy felt a sense of accomplishment in earning a UFC contract, his mind quickly shifted towards the work that lay ahead of him as he starts his UFC journey.

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“It got me emotional,” Levy said. “It’s a big deal where I’m from (in Israel) to be a UFC fighter. I’m very proud. I’m going to make my country proud. I’m going to represent myself, my country, and my family well.

“It’s been a long journey, a lot of hard work, but even though I’m very happy I know there’s a lot of hard work ahead. This is only the beginning. As much as it was hard to get to this mountain, the time is now where we change this mountain and it’s going to get harder.”

Though it will most likely be 2021 before Levy gets to make his proper UFC debut, he’s going to stay as ready as he can be so he can get back into the octagon as quickly as possible.

“I’m going to let management do their work (to find my next fight), but I’m always staying in shape, stay ready, stay close to weight in case (the UFC) needs me on short notice,” said Levy.