A former professional mixed martial artist was attacked by a knife-wielding maniac in Florida and took care of business like he was still in the ring.
Javier Baez told Local 10 News that his combat training played a pivotal role in ensuring his survival after being confronted by an assailant in Cutler Bay in the early morning hours of Halloween.
Former MMA fighter stops Halloween knife attack
According to Baez, he had returned to his apartment building at approximately 4 a.m. on October 31, when he noticed a man, later identified as 50-year-old Omar Marrero holding a viciously long knife and was yelling in the complex’s parking lot.
According to the arrest report, when he spotting Baez in his vehicle, Marrero proceeded to strike the car window with the knife before forcefully opening the driver’s door in an attempt to harm him.
In an effort to defuse the situation, Baez exited his vehicle, but Marrero continued to slash at him.
Surveillance footage revealed that Marrero then retreated to his vehicle and placed the knife on the front passenger side floor before engaging in a physical altercation with Baez.
Moments later, Marrero returned to his car, this time retrieving a second large knife and resuming his vicious attempts to harm Baez.
Another camera caught the moment that the former MMA star put his training to good use and dropped his attacker.
Watch former MMA fighter counter knife attack
Marrero can be seen rushing towards Baez, only to be swiftly overpowered when the 5-2-1 fighter out muscled his attacker, then lifted him up before slamming him to the ground.
Baez said his actions were basically automatic. “You train so many times that it becomes just a reflex.”
He successfully stripped Marrero of the knife and restrained him until law enforcement arrived at the scene.
“Once I started putting the choke in, he kind of just let it go because no one is worried about anything else but breathing when you’re losing air,” Baez explained.
“As soon as he goes out, I take the knife away from him, I put my knee on his belly and I call the cops. And when he wakes up, he’s got my foot on his back,” he told TMZ.
Despite the intense struggle, Baez emerged unscathed, sustaining only minor scratches to his hands.
Former MMA fighter credits training for stopping knife attack
Baez credited his reflexes and comprehensive training for his ability to respond effectively in the face of danger.
He is a black belt in jiu-jitsu, wrestled in college, and has competed in eight professional fights.
“Once it came to that, it’s all instincts. I couldn’t do much but just react,” he remarked.
Baez revealed that although he didn’t personally know Marrero, he had spotted him in the neighborhood on previous occasions.
Marrero was taken into police custody and charged with burglary with assault or battery and aggravated battery.
Baez said the attack has resulted in media fanfare that he hasn’t seen since his last fight in 2018.
“I’ve been getting a lot of calls lately. Your boy went viral, I’ll tell you that,” he quipped.