ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A shoplifter was in the wrong place at the wrong time Tuesday. He was attacking a convenience store clerk when a MMA fighter stepped in and put a stop to it.
Saul Elizondo says the second he walked into the Circle K, he knew something was wrong, then his fighter instinct kicked in.
“Honestly, it just happened so quickly. It was crazy,” said Elizondo.
Elizondo had stopped for gas and was inside the store, when he got a strange feeling.
“I kinda had a feeling that something was happening, as a fighter,” said Elizondo.
Elizondo says a couple inside the store was confronted by a clerk. He says the man and woman were trying to shoplift.
The incident was captured on the store’s surveillance system. A scuffle broke out and Elizondo jumped into action, when he thought the clerk was in danger.
Elizondo said, “As soon as he brought his hand back I just like, rushed the guy. I caught him from behind and I kinda like, took him down and I took his back and kinda controlled the situation before he would hurt the people who work there.”
Elizondo is in the store all the time. It’s right down the street from Jackson Wink Academy where he trains. The Professional Bantamweight Fighter says he didn’t want to hurt the suspect but he wasn’t going to stand there and let him attack the clerk.
“I kinda 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 other of my martial artist colleagues would’ve done the same thing,” said Elizondo.
An unusual takedown, for a man used to battling it out in the ring.
“It felt weird training with all these monsters here and grabbing this guy here felt like grabbing a little child, like I was playing with a little kid,” said Elizondo.
Elizondo left before police arrived. It’s unclear if anyone was arrested in the incident.
The Texan has been fighting professionally for six years. He just moved to Albuquerque six months ago to train.