It’s been two years since Joe Lozito was propelled in to the spotlight as the man who stopped a 2011 stabbing spree on a New York City subway. Since then, Lozito has faced hardships between going to battle with the state of New York in court and lingering injuries from the attack.
Besides being the man who single-handedly stopped a maniac, Lozito is also known for being an avid supporter of the Glory World Series.
I got the chance to interview Lozito to get his take on the attack, life, and kickboxing.
Adam Conklin: First off Mr. Lozito, how has life changed the most since you stopped Maksim Gelman on the subway?
Joe Lozito: I’m grateful for every second I have on earth. The fact is, with the amount of blood I lost, I should be dead. I was stabbed and slashed 7 times and after I subdued him, I sat and bled out for upwards of 20 minutes in that tunnel waiting for the police to give the go ahead to move the train. When you’re that close to deaths door, you value every day.
AC: What did you feel and what were you thinking just before the attack?
JL: The whole series of events before the attack was confusing at the time. Here you have two NYPD officers in with the motorman and a guy banging on the door trying to get in to the same motorman’s booth stating he too was a cop. Except they wouldn’t let him. Then another man starts banging on the door trying the get the Police to come out and he’s ignored as well. All of this is happening right in front of me. I was thinking “what the fuck is going on here?”. When Gelman stopped and pulled out the knife, my only thought was survival.
AC: In your video with MiddleEasy, you say you were on your way to work when you were attacked. What did your boss say when he found out you weren’t showing up that day?
JL: That day, I actually was supposed to start my shift later. I switched with a co-worker but the manager on duty wasn’t aware. When my co-worker didn’t show up at 9:30, my boss called her to find out where she was. She told him that we switched. By that time, I think word was out about the incident so they knew I’d be absent that day.
AC: You got to say some last words to Gelman before he was taken away. How gratifying was that being able to stand a free (living) man over a man you subdued and halted during his stabbing spree?
JL: It was very satisfying. It was therapeutic. I knew he was going to say idiotic things because he did it when he sentenced in Brooklyn so I was prepared. There was nothing he was going to say that I was prepared for and it played out exactly like I thought it would.
AC: What has the attention from supporters been like since the attack?
JL: It’s been amazing. I’ve really seen the good in people since then which is key since the day of the attack, I saw what pure evil looks like.
AC: Switching gears a bit, you’re now a huge supporter of Glory kickboxing and their expansion to the United States with their second show in NYC coming up this Saturday, what is it that pulls you towards the sport of kick-boxing?
JL: Fighting is in our blood. Everyone can fight. Obviously some do it better than others but it’s in our DNA. I’m always fascinated by people who can do things at such a high level. The fact that Greg Maddux can make Major League hitters look stupid or Kyle Farnsworth hitting triple digits on the radar gun…that stuff amazes me. Seeing little Royce Gracie win UFC 1…that was bananas!! Kickboxing is an amazing sport on any level and Glory has pulled together the absolute best in the world. What we’ll see on Saturday is the finished product of all the hard work, dedication & sacrifice of the amazing athletes.
AC: Can you give your thoughts on the expansion of Glory not only to the U.S. But also on to Spike TV?
JL: I’m so happy with what Glory has done. It seems like they’ve picked up the ball from K-1 and just ran with it, but also learned from K-1’s mistakes and from what I’ve heard, they treat the fighters great. Kickboxing is huge all over the world and I’m sure the people at Glory have a blueprint to make it huge here. Doing two shows in NY, one in LA and one in Chicago in a relative short period of time will go a long way. It would be great if they got as big as the UFC one day, but there’s plenty of time for that. The deal with Spike is huge. Honestly, it sucked waiting for the tape delayed broadcasts on the CBS Sports Network. I was grateful for the coverage but come on? Spike will give it the attention it deserves. I’m hoping at some point Glory puts out DVD’s similar to the UFC. The UFC event DVD’s are the best in my opinion. You get all the fights, the preview shows and tons of behind the scenes stuff. Hoping at some point Glory decides to do the same.
AC: How do you see this Saturday’s lightweight tournament going?
JL: Giorgio Petrosyan is the favorite and with good reason. He’s the best fighter in the world. He’s just on a different level. He’s always one step ahead of his opponent. This is what I was talking about earlier. Petrosyan is fighting the BEST in the world and he’s still the unquestioned best. Keep in mind, he’s already beaten Kiria & van Roosmalen in the same night back at Glory 3 in Rome. I have so much respect for all the fighters. It’s kickboxing and when you have four talented fighters like Petrosyan, RvR, Kiria & Ristie anybody can win. Until proven otherwise though, I see Petrosyan walking out of Madison Square Garden the tourney champion.
AC: Glory houses some of the absolute greatest kick-boxers on the planet. Which fighter captures your attention when they step in the ring?
JL: There are so many talented fighters, it’s difficult to narrow them down. Obviously Petrosyan. I think Robin van Roosmalen is the future of the division. Tyrone Spong is a beast. You have heavy’s like Ghita and Saki and don’t forget Verhoeven who shocked the world at Glory 11. Hoping to see Italy’s Alessandro Campagna fight for Glory again. Knowing that the legend Peter Aerts is fighting in Tokyo at Glory 13 is bittersweet since it’s always great to see him battle but knowing it’s his retirement fight is sad. The U.S. has some fine representation in Glory and look no further than the main event between Joe Schilling and Wayne Barrett. The sport is only going to get bigger here in the U.S. and we have Glory, Spike and the fine athletes to thank for that.
Lozito also expressed his sympathy for a friend and Glory heavyweight, Mark Miller, who is going through a tough times right now having to withdraw from Glory 12 due to medical issues involving his kidneys. For those looking to make donations to help Miller overcome his hospital bills please donate here: http://www.gofundme.com/mark-fightshark-miller
For those looking for more information from the source of the 2011 stabbing spree in New York City, the aftermath, and the man who stopped a killer, stay tuned for Joe Lozito’s book which is due in 2014.
If you’re looking to get in contact with Joe Lozito, follow him on Twitter @joe_lozito and visit him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Justice-For-Joe-Lozito/411427498975800
I was also given words to live by from Lozito, words that ring quite true in his life:
“That which does not kill us makes us stronger”
- Friedrich Nietzsche
“There’s a certain thing about fighters…that when they get challenged, they don’t back down”
- Bob Probert
We here at SciFighting say thank you to Mr. Lozito for what he did. He displayed courage and heroics in subduing a man whose inly intentions that day were to harm others. He may not want to be called a hero, but by definition, there’s no way around it.
Thank you Joe Lozito.