MMA fighter chokes out knife-wielding attacker after disarming him


CUTLER BAY, Fla. – A former professional mixed martial artist won the fight of his life outside the ring, and it was all caught on camera.

Javier Baez told Local 10 News Friday that he is grateful to see another day thanks to his combat training after a man attempted to stab him in Cutler Bay early Wednesday morning.

Baez said he was out late on Halloween night, getting back to his complex around 4 a.m. Wednesday, when he saw Omar Marrero, 50, of Cutler Bay, behind the 11,000 block of Southwest 211th Street, holding a knife that was about 14 inches long and yelling in the parking lot.

Marrero’s arrest report stated moments after seeing Baez in his vehicle, he began hitting his car window with the knife and then opened the driver’s door and attempted to cut him.

As Baez exited his vehicle and attempted to diffuse the situation, Marrero continued to swing the knife at him, the report stated.

Shortly after, Marrero went back to his vehicle while placing the knife on the front passenger side floor and began fighting Baez.

Police said moments after, Marrero went back to his car, grabbed a second large knife, and attempted to cut Baez several times.

Additional surveillance video showed Marrero rushing at Baez, who quickly overpowered him, lifted him, and then slammed him to the ground.

“You train so many times that it becomes just a reflex,” Baez said.

Baez was able to defend himself while disarming Marrero and detaining him until police arrived at the scene.

“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,” he said. “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 told Local 10 News that he was unhurt and only sustained minor scratches to his hands following the scuffle.

“Once it came to that, it’s all instincts. I couldn’t do much but just react,” Baez told 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.”

Baez said that he didn’t personally know Marrero but had seen him before walking around in his neighborhood.

Marrero was transported to the Cutler Bay Municipal District where he was interviewed and provided a statement to police.

He currently faces one count each of burglary with assault or battery and aggravated battery, according to jail records.

As of Friday, Marrero is being held without bond at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center.

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