The Jerusalem Post

Israeli MMA fighter Shimon Smotritsky wins big at Fury FC 82

 Shimon Smotritsky celebrates as his Fury FC victory is announced, August 27, 2023. (photo credit: Shimon Smotritsky)
Shimon Smotritsky celebrates as his Fury FC victory is announced, August 27, 2023.
(photo credit: Shimon Smotritsky)

Radiating deadly focus and precision at Fury FC 82, Shimon Smotritsky demonstrated that he deserves the moniker, “the assassin.”

The Fighting Championship (FC) event, Fury FC 82, in Houston, Texas on Sunday evening yielded another incredible victory for Jewish-Israeli MMA fighter, Shimon “the assassin” Smotritsky.

Going in, Smotrisky had a simple goal.

“I just wanted to show everybody my true skill and my true level,” he said. “I've been very calm, very confident in myself. I think the key to this victory was my confidence. I was prepared for everything my opponent would do. And it showed out in the fight.”

Smotritsky, of Holon, Israel, had an impressive 9-2 record going into his fight where he faced off against opponent Kenan Jackson.


Smotritsky and Jackson were fighting in the welterweight division. The 23-year-old Israeli, however, standing at six feet, two inches tall with a reach of 76 inches had a marked height and reach advantage over the 30-year-old American.

 A poster of Shimon Smotritsky promoting the August 27 Fury FC 82 fight. (credit: Shimon Smotritsky)
A poster of Shimon Smotritsky promoting the August 27 Fury FC 82 fight. (credit: Shimon Smotritsky)

The event marked Smotritsky’s first time inside the Fury FC octagon, and the young fighter took the opportunity to stamp his identity over every moment he had.

Upon being introduced, he came out; an Israeli flag held high with both hands. 

The announcer wasted no time in introducing the fighters before referee Jeff Rexroad commenced the first round.

Round 1: Smotritsky sets the tone

After the starting horn sounded, the fighters immediately met in the middle of the octagon and Jackson quickly fired a massive right overhand. It made no contact.


Jackson then initiated a takedown, shooting in and managing to get his shoulder against Smotristky’s hip, pinning the Israeli against the cage before lifting him up and attempting to slam him down.

Smotritsky kept his legs beneath him. After an ensuing grapple, reversed the position. The round, however, was decided when Smotrisky stuffed a kick, causing Jackson to fall. Smotritsky quickly jumped onto his back and controlled the rest of the round. Jackson was able to do little aside from block what punches he could from landing on his face.

Round 2: Smotrisky capitalizes on his advantages

Round two was dominated by Smotritsky. Using his reach advantage, he controlled the center of the octagon, landed heavy leg kicks, and stung Jackson’s face with quick jabs. Big overhand punches from Jackson whiffed through the air as he tried to assert some counterplay, but the reach disadvantage prevented him from landing anything significant. 

At the end of the round, Jackson’s nose was bleeding heavily. In contrast, Smotritsky looked untouched.

Round 3: Smotritsky seals the deal

Going into round three, Smotritsky was clearly ahead on the judges' scorecards. Smotritsky continued to control the center of the octagon and won some well-placed knees while in a clench.

Breaking free from the clench, a wild shot from Jackson clipped Smotritsky next to his right eye, opening up a cut that proceeded to bleed. It wasn’t enough though.

In the final minute, knowing he had to do something, Jackson stepped up his aggression. A failed takedown attempt allowed Jackson brief control of Smotritsky’s back and an even briefer mount. Smotritsky, however, proved too slippery and Jackson was unable to pin him down before the horn sounded.

Smotrisky came back out for the final decision from the judges, draped in the Israeli flag. In a unanimous decision, all three judges scored the fight 30-27 in favor of the Israeli.

The key to Smotritsky’s success

The young Israeli went on to explain that to achieve that confidence, he worked very hard.

“I prepared for the last 11 weeks and I was thinking about [Jackson] and about this fight almost every day, if not every day,” he said. “But I also wanted to keep the focus on myself and think about what I’m going to do and not worry about what he was going to do.” 

Asked about what drives him, Smotritsky cited his identity as a Jew.

“I’m fighting for my dreams, to become a UFC world champion. And what drives me is the fact that I’m Jewish and there’s not many Jewish fighters,” Smotritsky explained. “ No one can bully us. We are warriors like King David, like Solomon. We have great warriors in our history, and it gives me great motivation to show that to the world.”