MMA-trained clerk fights off suspected robbers in Houston
By Jay Dillon
A group of would-be thieves thought they had easy pickings when they tried to pick on a clerk returning from a bank run but they weren't counting on the man behind the counter was a mixed martial arts fighter.Mayura Dissanayaka was behind the counter at the Houston convenience store when he noticed his co-worker pull up after a run to the bank. But he wasn't the only one watching. As soon as he parked, several men jumped out of an SUV and went straight for their target.Dissanayaka reacted quickly."Well just a reaction... you see someone get beat up, you just go out," he said.Dissanayaka ran outside and before the two robbers even saw him, he attacked."The first guy I saw, I just kicked him in the face... then I punched the other guy," he said.As his co-worker is taking a beating on the ground, Dissanayaka's first kick catches one of the crooks in the face. The moves are ones he learned from cage matches.Dissanayaka has trained in mixed martial arts for more than a decade and was named the MMA national champion for five straight years in his home country of Sri Lanka."We learn how to punch, how to kick and all that stuff you can use in the streets," Dissanayaka said.From the streets to the parking lot, in seconds the bad guys begin their retreat and head for the getaway car but Dissanayaka wasn't letting them get away easy."They were waiting for them, but when they were running back, I caught one guy with a hook, so he fell down... so they just left him," Dissanayaka said.With his accomplice left behind, one of the men wants to go back and help him but decides against it when Dissanayaka moves towards him. Eventually, he left his buddy behind while Dissanayaka held him in a submission hold while he waited on police arrive."Just kicked him until he lays down on the floor until he stopped moving cause I wasn't sure if he had like a knife or a gun so I wanted him to stop moving."The man was arrested. Police identified him as 33-year-old Odell Mathis. His partner and the driver got away but customers of the Fuel Depot still call this a feel good story.Unless, of course, you're Mathis.
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