By Caoilte de Barra
Israel is entering the 2022 European Championships on the back of a successful run at the World Championships. In Abu Dhabi, Yevgeni Shinkarevsky took bronze and teammate Moshe Aladi will be looking to get on the podium this time around.
Moshe’s introduction to the sport came about at the right time in his life after having issues with gambling from an early age.
“My gambling problems started around the age of 12-13. It added to a few other problems I had in my life. My environment influenced me a lot, and I found myself on a bad path from a very young age. I was dragged into it. Around the age of 17, when the situation got worse and my family found out about everything, they helped cover my debt in so many different ways. After that, they sent me to the United States for a year to work on my gambling problem.”
His situation was kept quiet until all was revealed to his family when he couldn’t leave the house for his own safety.
“My breaking point was before my flight to the United States. I was in trouble and couldn’t leave my house, very bad people were looking for me. I lost myself in all this mess, and I couldn’t take it anymore, but I didn’t know who to ask for help until everything exploded and was revealed to my family. When they found out, they started helping me with it.”
After hitting a low point, Moshe went stateside for rehabilitation, where he ultimately found MMA, and it replaced the void that gambling had previously filled.
“I found interest in the sports of MMA during my stay in the United States. I saw the fight of Conor against Floyd and started following fighters and MMA. I discovered an interest in this sport where I felt that it really filled me instead of gambling and the other things that interested me. It helped me a lot in the change I made in my life. I started to exercise, and I put all of my energy into it and not into other things.”
Nowadays, the sport is a major factor in his life, and he hopes to showcase his ability at the European Championships, with eyes on someday reaching the UFC.
“Today, MMA is my life. I train every day, and my routine revolves around training and life as a fighter. I appreciate what the ISRMMAF is doing to the sports of MMA in Israel these days as they give me and other Israeli fighters the platform to show our skills and develop. My goal eventually is to be in the UFC, fight against the top fighters in the world and one day to be the world champion.”
Watch the 2022 IMMAF European Championships live and exclusively from Bella Italia Efa Village in Lignano Sabbiadoro (Italy) from 27 September and 1 October 2022 at immaf.tv, with the tournament draw taking place on 26 September.