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Superman: MMA fighter saves New Yorkers being assaulted by homeless suspect

Ro Malabanan, a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu who also holds a yellow belt in judo subdued the suspect, called the police and prevented further violence

MMA fighter saves New Yorkers
MMA fighter saves New Yorkers | Instagram

August 4, 2022 11:29am

Updated: August 4, 2022 1:33pm

A heroic mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter took his skills to the mat to prevent a homeless man from allegedly assaulting people in SoHo, Manhattan’s Bohemian shopping enclave.

Ro Malabanan, a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu who also holds a yellow belt in judo thought it was just going to be another day. Malabanan told his Instagram followers that he was walking through the shopping district to his job where he teaches boxing when he saw a man strike a construction worker.

Malabanan, 44, hurried over to the alleged victim to see if he was alright and then pursued the man, now identified as Samuel Frazier.

Malabanan, 44, checked in with the victim before running after the suspect and taking him down from behind, the good Samaritan explained to his Instagram followers.

“My jiu-jitsu instincts just kicked in. I jumped on his back,” the MMA fighter said. “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.”

Once Malabanan was engaged and had tackled the suspect to the ground in front of a Converse store on Broadway, other purported victims of Frazier came to watch.

“Out of nowhere people were like ‘Yeah this guy punched me in the face,’ ‘Yeah this guy hit me,’ ‘This guy hit an old guy,’” Malabanan said.

Malabanan also stood by the law and made sure that none of Frazier’s alleged victims took advantage of the moment to escalate the situation by striking back at the homeless man. He instead encouraged them to call the New York Police Department.

When the NYPD arrived, they determined that Frazier had made an “unprovoked” attack against a 17-year old boy and a 50-year old man, according to police.

Officers arrested Frazier for two counts of assault and noted that the man did not have a home address.

Malabanan had not yet spoken to police in detail because he was late for work, but in an interview with the New York Post, he said he thinks at least six people were assaulted by Frazier, who he described as “playing the victim,” the fighter said.

“They were walking into me,” Frazier was reportedly filmed saying to Malabanan as the MMA fighter pinned him the ground.

“Nah, that’s bulls–t, bro, you still don’t punch people in the face for no f—ing reason,” Malabanan said as onlookers outside the Museum of Ice Cream watched.

Two NYPD officers eventually responded and detained Frazier as passersby shook hands with Malabanan.

The MMA fighter turned boxing instructor has lived in New York City since immigrating from the Philippines at the young age of nine. He has been teaching boxing and martial arts while taking a break from his MMA career due to a series of concussions he suffered.

The Post said he enjoys “help[ing] other New Yorkers stand up to bullies by teaching them how to fight and defend themselves.”

The fighter said despite the excitement it was nothing new for him.

“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.”