Name: Ido Pariente
Known for: A competitor and trainer in mixed martial arts (MMA), “The Hebrew Hammer” is one of Israel’s top fighters.
About him: Born into a Jewish family in Tel Aviv, Pariente practiced karate from the age of 7. He also has a second-degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, in which he has competed since 2010.
In 1999, Pariente moved to the U.S. for two years to fight and train. Other than this sojourn, he trains full-time in Israel, except for one month each year when he teaches in Brazil at a school named MMA Israel.
Pariente was Victory Fighting Championship Lightweight Champion in 2001, Pankration World Champion in 2003, European BJJ Champion in 2007, and Desert Combat Lightweight champion the same year.
In 2008, he compete on Spike TV’s popular American show, The Ultimate Fighter.
Now retired from fighting, he runs the Pariente Academy in Haifa.
About the sport to which he has dedicated his life (one he says demands “strength, athleticism, flexibility, and more balance that in any other sport”), Pariente says, “You can’t call a sport in which the competitors are under close medical supervision and need a license to compete barbaric. It’s not what people think. It’s not just about people fighting in a cage. It’s a serious sport.”Tags: Israelis You Should Know