MMA fighter witnesses New York City assault, immediately leaps into action and takes down suspect

MMA fighter Ro Malabanan has a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu

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A mixed martial artist who witnessed an assault in New York City last week immediately got involved to subdue the assailant, he said on social media.

Trained in boxing, judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Ro Malabanan utilized his skills to take down a man who was allegedly attacking people in Manhattan’s Soho shopping district last Wednesday, he shared in a video on social media.

"My jiu-jitsu instincts just kicked in. I jumped on his back," Malabanan said in a video he shared with his followers. "He tried to swing me off then — but for those of you in the know — a seatbelt position dragged him down to the floor, and I immediately took his back and pinned him to the ground."

Malabanan, 44, who has a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and a yellow belt in judo, was on his way to his boxing class when he noticed the incident unfold, he told the New York Post.

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Ro Malabanan took down a homeless man who was allegedly attacking people in Manhattan’s Soho shopping district on July 27, 2022.

Ro Malabanan took down a homeless man who was allegedly attacking people in Manhattan’s Soho shopping district on July 27, 2022. (Ro Malabanan/@rotheshow/Instagram)

"Play stupid games, and win stupid prizes. This guy assaulted six people before I got to him," he added.

In the video, the New York City resident said he saw Samuel Frazier, 28, sucker punch a person "right in front of" him. Malabanan said he watched the man closely, so he could defend himself if the man attacked him.

He then checked on the victim, asking him if he was ok. The man said he was not and other people hurried over to check on them, he said.

It was at this time, Malabanan said the people told them the man had hit several people and that they were planning to bring him to justice.

"I was like, alright, I'm down," Malabanan said.

Ro Malabanan, an MMA fighter and instructor, pinned down a man who allegedly attacked people in New York's Soho district on July 27, 2022.

Ro Malabanan, an MMA fighter and instructor, pinned down a man who allegedly attacked people in New York's Soho district on July 27, 2022. (Ro Malabanan/@rotheshow/Instagram)

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The MMA-trained Malabanan then ran after the alleged assailant, who was "about a block away," and pinned him to the ground.

Other people in the area who claimed to have been by Frazier circled around the men and attempted to strike Frazier as Malabanan restrained him, but Malabanan told them to stop and to phone the police, he said.

The incident took place in front of a Converse store on Broadway, per the Instagram video.

Two NYPD officers ultimately arrived and arrest Frazier. The New York Police Department revealed later that Frazier hit at least two people, including a 50-year-old man and a 17-year-old boy.

Ro Malabanan wrestled a man to the ground who was allegedly attacking people in New York City on July 27, 2022.

Ro Malabanan wrestled a man to the ground who was allegedly attacking people in New York City on July 27, 2022. (Ro Malabanan/@rotheshow/Instagram)

Several people responded to the video with encouraging messages and praising Malabanan's bravery.

"Wow! Good work man! Be safe," one user said. "Hero," others commented.

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Malabanan encouraged his followers to remain vigilant and to stay safe.

"Just another day," he said. "A lot of crazies out there in the streets right now so just please be careful. They will sucker punch you. They will take out their frustrations."