Instincts and training kicked in at just the right moment for a former mixed martial artist who was out late after Halloween officially ended — and then found himself face to face with the wrong end of a knife in a Cutler Bay, Florida, parking lot.
Javier Baez told WPLG-TV that he was headed home around 4 a.m. Nov. 1 when he encountered 50-year-old Omar Marrero holding the knife and yelling in the parking lot.
The station, citing an arrest report, said Marrero began hitting Baez’s car window with the knife and then opened the driver-side door and tried to cut Baez.
Baez exited his vehicle and tried to de-escalate things, but WPLG, citing the report, said Marrero kept swinging the knife.
Marrero soon went back to his vehicle, placed the knife on his front passenger side floor, and then began fighting Baez, the station said.
Moments later, Marrero returned to his car, grabbed a second large knife, and tried to cut Baez several times, WPLG reported.
But when Marrero tried rushing up to Baez, video shows the former MMA fighter overpowering his new opponent with great ease and speed, lifting Marrero up, slamming him to the ground, and disarming him.
“You train so many times that it becomes just a reflex,” Baez noted to the station.
Baez detained Marrero until police arrived, WPLG said.
“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 added to the station. “I was able to hold him down with my knee and call the cops, and he woke up, cops came, and it was good, easy peasy!”
Baez noted to WPLG that he endured only minor scratches to his hands after the outside-the-ring dust-up.
“Once it came to that, it’s all instincts. I couldn’t do much but just react,” Baez added to the station. “I’ve been training my whole life — black belt jiu-jitsu, wrestled in college, I’ve got eight pro fights, MMA masters. I’ve got great training partners.”
Baez noted to WPLG that he doesn’t know Marrero personally but that he’s seen him walking around the neighborhood.
What happened to the suspect?
Marrero was facing one count each of burglary with assault or battery and aggravated battery, the station said, citing jail records.
Last Friday, he was being held without bond at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center, WPLG reported.
Like Blaze News? Bypass the censors, sign up for our newsletters, and get stories like this direct to your inbox. Sign up here!