Gas station clerk uses MMA to stop robbers

This video of gas station clerk/MMA fighter Mayura Dissanyake using his MMA techniques to stop a couple robbers has been going the rounds and several people asked me to comment on it. I’ve also seen MMA enthusiasts go nuts over this video and claim it as ultimate proof of the superiority of MMA over anything else. I’ll cover that a little bit as well.

But first, take a look at the video:

As far as I can tell, his co-worker went to the bank and came back to the station when the robbers jumped him. That’s when Dissanyake came rushing to his aid and the fight to stop the robbers started. One of the robbers ends up on the ground and his buddy first drives away, then tries to come back but eventually takes off.

Some thoughts:

  • Way to go, co-worker! If you do a run to the bank and come back with a bunch of cash, you should be vigilant and aware of potential danger. You should also have safety procedures in place to avoid a robbery to begin with. Instead, this co-worker is totally oblivious to the SUV backing up and the first robber jumping out of it to come at him. The footage clearly shows him paying no attention to what’s going on.
  • Dissanyake kicks butt. In less than two seconds after arriving on the spot, he stuns both robbers by kicking the first one in the face and slugging the other one. As far as a counter-ambush goes, that’s pretty good and the robbers beat a retreat right after.
  • He made a critical mistake, but got away with it. Watch the video at at 1min 25. Dissanyake is busy facing the robber who had started driving away and came back. In the mean time, the other robber (big guy, white tank top) who was fighting two smaller guys has free access to Dissanyake’s back and the MMA fighter has no clue. If the robber had wanted to, he could have done some nasty things to Dissanyake. Fortunately, that robber was too busy trying to get away that he didn’t think of it, even though he does make contact a bit.

    Gas station clerk uses MMA to stop robbers


  • It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out. Dissanyake goes after the big guy once he is down but at first, it seems justifiable legally speaking. However, at 1min45, you see him first walking away but then returning to kick the robber some more. At that point, the robber is clearly no longer offering him any violence, yet he digs the boot in a few more times. In the video, he states he was afraid the robber might have had a weapon and he wanted him to stop moving. That may be so, but the robber was not making any threatening moves anymore. So legally speaking, especially if there is a duty to retreat, a district attorney with an axe to grind might come after him for it. So I’m curious to see what, if anything, will happen next. For those who haven’t read my blog before: I don’t give a flying fart about these robbers. If you beat people up to steal from them, anything bad that happens to you is your problem for all I care. The issue I’m talking about here are the potential legal consequences Dissanyake might face: those are nonexistent in the ring, but on the street they are always a factor
  • Poster child for MMA’s superiority? A lot of people have gone online and stated this as proof of how MMA is perfect for the street, etc. First, I don’t believe there is any such thing as an art that is perfect for the street. Second, if Dissanyake’s case is proof of MMA being perfect, then following the same logic this one is proof that it isn’t, yes?


All in all, Dissanyake did good. He stopped the robbers, he didn’t get hurt and as far as I can tell nobody else did either. That’s a win in my book.

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  1. Long time reader, first time commenter…
    As a native Texan and Houstonian, I predict not a lot will happen to the guy. Texans love it when bad things happen to criminals. Given the situation and the political climate around here, the DA probably won’t do anything. If they do take it to trial, it will be hard to find a jury around here that’d hand down a conviction.
    Example: Joe Horn. A few years ago, Joe was home when some criminals broke into his neighbors house. He grabbed a shotgun and ran out into his neighbor’s yard to confront them. End result: two dead thieves. The DA was pressured to bring charges, but the grand jury wouldn’t send him to trial. Still cost Horn a great deal of money in defense fees, though.

    • Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated. I’m not up to speed on self-defense law and case law in each individual US State, hence the caveats I wrote. Seems like Texas still has a solid no-nonsense attitude to self-defense, I’m all for it.
      BTW, no need to hold back on comments. You’re more than welcome to share your views here.

  2. Cool story Wim.

    I saw this on the new in San Diego and it warmed my heart. I guess I am not a cuddly guy. As far as MMA vs TMA… I don’t see much differences in how it was handled but I’m happy the MMA guy did not try to fight on the ground – that may not have turned out as well for him.

    The kicks on the downed opponent might have been over the top but hopefully he will not have to face a jury.

    This one one for the good guys – MMA or any other striking MA in my view.

  3. Charles James says

    In California I believe the MMA guy would have gone to jail with the criminal and would face assault charges, etc.

  4. Sorry Wim, I am not totally agree with your thoughts. It seems that you always support the thugs or find some clues to support the people who actually started the fight. And that creates confusion in people who are looking for self-defense. If the robbers/thugs don’t get enough lesson, they’ll try to continue to rob or beat masses. If Dissanyake got beaten by robbers and they got away with money, then what idea you would come up with? Just wondering! Any martial arts that teaches punching and kicking are vital for self defense. MMA does not work in self defense – it is just myth and self-made theory.

    • I think you’re misreading what I wrote. Given as you make this pretty big claim “It seems that you always support the thugs or find some clues to support the people who actually started the fight.” I suggest you give me some qoutes to support that claim, because I don’t see it.

  5. Hahaha! Awsome! I say lesson number one. Don’t try robbing someone! If you do something against the law, you run for your life! People are searching for justifiable reasons to do something out of the ordinary.

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