Former MMA fighter Javier Baez saved his own life with martial arts after an assailant allegedly tried to stab him, according to video footage shared by Local 10.
The incident occurred as he returned to his residential complex at approximately 4 a.m. after being out late on Halloween, according to Local 10 News. When he arrived, he reportedly spotted Omar Marrero, a 50-year-old resident of Cutler Bay, in the 11,000 block of Southwest 211th Street. Marrero was allegedly wielding a 14-inch knife and yelling in the parking lot.
When Marrero saw Baez in his vehicle, he allegedly began striking the car window with the knife before proceeding to open the driver’s door, per Local 10 News. Baez then exited his vehicle and Marrero continued to wield the knife, allegedly swinging it at Baez.
Marrero retreated to his own vehicle, reportedly placing the knife on the front passenger seat floor before allegedly initiating a physical confrontation with Baez. Moments later, he reportedly retrieved a second knife from his car and allegedly launched several attempts to harm Baez, police told the outlet. The former MMA fighter then overpowered his assailant and slammed him to the ground.
“You train so many times that it becomes just a reflex,” Baez said about the incident. “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. 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!” (RELATED: UFC Fighter Says He Was Robbed At Gunpoint)
Baez was unscathed from the altercation, with only minor scratches on his hands. Marrero was subsequently transported to the Cutler Bay Municipal District, where he was interviewed and provided a statement to the police, the outlet added.
“Once it came to that, it’s all instincts. I couldn’t do much but just react,” Baez said, according to Local 10 News. “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.”
As of Friday, Marrero faces multiple charges, including one count each of burglary with assault or battery and aggravated battery, Local 10 reported. He remains in custody without bond at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center, awaiting legal proceedings.