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Mixed Martial Arts Tournament Fighters Thwart LA Robbery

LOS ANGELES, California ~ (Los Angeles Times/ Yahoo Sports) ~ A man trying to rob a Koreatown hotel was stopped by two MMA fighters in town for a tournament.

28-year-old Billy Denney is a student of 33-year-old Brent Alvarez, who runs the Twisted Web MMA school in Eugene, Oregon. The pair were in town to compete in the World Jiu-Jitsu No-Gi Championship, taking place in Long Beach this Saturday, November 12th. However, when they walked into their hotel lobby on Friday, November 4th, they came upon a robber in the commission of his crime. 31-year-old Luis Rosales had used a 9mm pistol to force the clerk to empty the cash drawer into a bag.

As Rosales tried to leave, the clerk grabbed him from behind, holding his arms down, and shouted, "gun! He robbed me!"Alvarez said he saw a flash of the weapon before the suspect stuck it into the bag with the money. A former club bouncer, Alvarez said his 10 years of self-defense training kicked in, and he and Denney closed in on the robber. They eventually subdued him in a body lock and choke hold, but did not escalate the struggle because Rosales said he was doing the crime for his daughter.

"He wasn't trying to punch us, he just seemed like someone who had run out of options," Alvarez told the Los Angeles Times, "I think back now and wonder what the hell was I doing?, I should've hit him and knocked him out." Alvarez and Denney held Rosales at the scene until police arrived and arrested him; they commended the two MMA fighters for stepping in and assisting the clerk. "I might have more butterflies than usual because I already had my fight for this week, " Alvarez added.

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