MMA-trained clerk fights off would-be robbers

(KPRC/CNN) — A group of would-be thieves picked the wrong gas station in Houston to rob.

They knew when an employee was coming back with a bank bag, but they didn’t know another clerk was a mixed martial arts fighter.

Mayura Dissanayaka was behind the counter when he noticed his co-worker return to the store after a run to the bank.

A group of men in an SUV were watching, too, because they went straight for the man and the bank bag as soon as he got out of his car.

Dissanayaka ran outside and “the first guy I saw, I just kicked him in the face, then I punched the other guy.”

These are moves Dissanayaka learned from cage matches. He’s trained in mixed martial arts for more than a decade and was named the MMA national champion for five consecutive years in his native Sri Lanka.

“We learn how to punch, how to kick and all that stuff you can use in the streets,” he said.

Or, in this case, the parking lot. In seconds, the would-be robbers began their retreat, the getaway car getting further away.

“They were waiting for them, but when they were running back, I caught one guy with a hook (and) fell down, so they just left him.”

The surveillance video shows that one of the robbers wanted to go back for his accomplice and friend, but decided against it when Dissanayaka moved towards him.

And just as he does in the ring, Dissanayaka laid out the guy he felled with the punch while he waited for police.

“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,” he said.

Police arrested the man identified as 33-year-old Odell Mathis.

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