Mixed martial arts is a bone-breaking, concussion-inducing, bloodthirsty combat sport that, when broken down, instills the fundamental elements of self-defense. It improves one’s self esteem while preaching patience and respect; traits that can be used in and outside of a ring.
Last week, MMA fighter Joseph Torrez used these skills to protect his family when four men broke into his Las Cruces, N.M. home. Torrez fought the invaders, killing one and injuring the others. According to KFOX 14 stationed in El Paso, Tex., Torrez, his fiancée and toddler were home when the intruders arrived. His fiancée held her body against the door to keep them from entering.
Torrez defended his family, but may face murder charges. The deceased suffered stab wounds, while the other were arrested and face multiple charges including aggravated burglary and aggravated battery.
Dubbed “human cockfighting” by U.S. Senator John McCain, MMA hit mainstream America in the mid-90s to heavy criticism for its brutal style of fighting. Little attention is paid to how it can protect oneself and their family, as Torrez did.
All who train in MMA, however, don’t use their knowledge in a positive way. According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Shaun McNeil, a self-proclaimed MMA fighter, was celebrating New Year’s Eve in Australia when where he went bar hopping. He punched four men in an unprovoked attack that leaves one in intensive care. McNeil was arrested and awaits trial.
The difference between the two, aside from Torrez’ proven MMA background, was that McNeil bludgeoned his victims needlessly.
Torrez’ last fight was last July’s Rocktagon MMA 28 in El Paso, a loss by TKO in the first round. He holds a 1-5 professional record with most of his fights taking place in small Southwestern MMA promotions.