An alleged shoplifter was prevented from leaving a convenience store with stolen goods when a professional mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter stopped him.
Saul Elizondo, a professional bantam weight fighter in Albuquerque, New Mexico, told KRQE that he walked into the Circle K convenience store near the gym he uses and noticed a man and a woman having an argument with the store clerk. A scuffle then broke out and that's when Elizondo flew into action.
“Honestly, it just happened so quickly. It was crazy,” said Elizondo. “I kinda had a feeling that something was happening, as a fighter.”
Worried about the clerk being in danger, Elizondo rushed the man and used his fight MMA training to subdue him.
“As soon as he brought his hand back I [...] rushed the guy,” Elizondo explained. “I caught him from behind and I [...] took him down and I took his back and [...] controlled the situation before he would hurt the people who work there.”
He added: “I [...] just reacted; some of my friends are saying I’m a hero but I really don’t think I was a hero at all. I consider myself a martial artist and I know that any [of my other] martial artist colleagues would’ve done the same thing.”
Elizondo left before police arrived and, according to KRQE, it's unclear if anyone was arrested in the incident. But Elizondo did say that the would-be thief was no match for his fighting prowess.
“It felt weird [because I'm used to] training with all these monsters [...] and grabbing this guy here felt like grabbing a little child, like I was playing with a little kid,” said Elizondo.
This isn't the first time an MMA fighter stopped a crime at a gas station.
In 2014, Mayura Dissanayake, a highly trained MMA fighter from Sri Lanka, was working at a gas station in Texas when several men attempted a hold-up, according to KPRC. But Dissanayake, with a little help from his co-worker, attacked the men and beat them seriously before they ran off.