(Who says takedowns and stalling don’t win fights?)
Maybe now New York Assemblyman Bob Reilly will change his tune about MMA being detrimental to society.
According to a story in yesterday’s New York Times, a 40-year-old mixed martial arts practitioner on his way to work on Saturday morning ended a crazy knife-wielding murderer’s rampage in New York City with the help of a single-leg takedown. The story is a chilling and tragic one, but the fact that someone trained in MMA stopped this nutjob from killing anyone else using an MMA technique is a feather in the cap for the sport that Reilly and his supporters were trying to ban people from training in the state of New York less than two years ago.
Here’s what went down Saturday morning on a subway car in The Big Apple:
“It was Saturday, shortly after 9 a.m.: Joseph Lozito was on his way to work at Lincoln Center.
He took a seat near the front of an uptown No. 3 train at Pennsylvania Station. Two officers entered with him. He barely noticed as they stepped inside the motorman’s cab.
Then, he said, a third man — 6 feet tall and dressed in street clothes — walked up to the booth and rapped on its window, saying, “Let me in, I’m police.” The man was rebuffed. He walked toward Mr. Lozito.
Coming closer, the man stopped, turned and then, Mr. Lozito, 40, said in an interview on Sunday, “he pulls his knife out and said to me, ‘You’re going to die.’ ”
It turns out, the guy wasn’t kidding.
Hours before he had killed his mother’s boyfriend, a woman he was in love with who did not have the same feelings for him, and the woman’s mother and had stabbed both a cab driver and a random motorist before heading underground to board the subway. It is believed that he was attempting to kill the train’s coachmen so he could commandeer the vehicle, but failing that he decided to turn his sights on Lozito, a 6-foot-2, 270-pound MMA devotee.
The decision would prove his undoing.
Here’s what happened next:
“Mr. Gelman lunged at him on the subway with the knife. Mr. Lozito said he knew he had to do something quickly (“or he was going to cut me up”) and so he rushed at Mr. Gelman with an improvised move that was somewhere between a single-leg takedown and a tackle.
Once on the ground, Mr. Lozito grabbed his attacker around the waist, and the officers from the motorman’s cab rushed to help. They handcuffed and arrested Mr. Gelman, who was awaiting arraignment Sunday night.
Mr. Lozito suffered four knife wounds to the head and a gash above his left eye. The tribal tattoo on his left triceps was slashed, and a wound on the back of his head required 20 stitches and 18 staples.
“It could have been a lot worse,” he said. “I’m glad I wasn’t No. 5 — I’m glad he didn’t kill anyone else.”
In his case, fate lost out to fortune. “I’m as lucky as can be,” he said.”
Props to him for putting an end to this bastard’s killing spree, but I think if I was faced with the same situation, I would have handled it a bit more like Anderson Silva and a lot less like Jon Fitch. A takedown to clinch on the ground seems like a risky move when a guy has a knife. A Steven Seagal face kick would have ended things without his tribal tattoo getting mangled and could have bumped Kharitonov out of the lead for Knockout of the Night honors.
Somehow I see an influx of little old ladies enrolling at Renzo Gracie‘s gym this week to learn how to stop a subway knife attack.