Last Updated on August 17, 2012.

Former UFC fighter uses MMA to Stop Knife Wielding Thief

By: Damon Martin –

It was a crowded night on Fremont Street in Las Vegas on Wednesday as locals and tourists packed the streets and stores.

Former Ultimate Fighter and UFC alum James McSweeney happened to be one of those patrons because he was showing his family around Las Vegas while they visited him from England.

What McSweeney didn’t know when the night started however is that he would eventually have to turn hero when a thief decided to put a stop to their family fun.

“My family’s in town right now in Las Vegas, and they wanted to go down to old town Las Vegas last night, down on Fremont street, just check out the big TV screens and stuff down there. So they wanted to get some souvenirs so they went into one of the stores there, and as they walked I saw these two guys that looked like they were drunk, but they wasn’t really, they were just arguing. So the cashier went over to stop them from arguing cause the store was packed full of women and children, people there shopping,” McSweeney explained when speaking to on Thursday.

“As they started to break it up one of the guys made a dash for the cash, the box behind the counter, and grabbed a handful of cash out and then pulled a knife out on the lady in front of everybody.”

According to McSweeney, the thief pulled a knife with a 3 or 4 inch blade and pointed it directly at the cashier who was trying to stop the robbery.

Unfortunately for this thief, McSweeney, who worked in security in his home town of London, England for nearly a decade, was standing close by and decided to intervene.

“I didn’t want anyone to get hurt, so I just went over and grabbed from the side by his shoulder and his lapel and took the knife from him and swept him to the floor and pinned him to the ground until security came and handcuffed him and took him off,” said McSweeney.

“No one got hurt, that was the main thing.”

There was no honor among thieves as the assailant’s partner, who was in on the scam, ran as soon as the knife wielding thief was tossed by the British born fighter.

McSweeney held the thief down on the ground after taking the knife away until his wife ran and got security to help him.

The former UFC competitor admits that there wasn’t much time for him to think about what he was doing when the robber pulled the knife, but he did react and he may have saved someone from serious harm.

“I knew I had the capabilities to stop it, so I tried to stop it. I mean if they pull a knife, you have to assume they have intentions to use it so that was my reaction, I didn’t want anyone to get hurt,” said McSweeney.

“We train everyday so we can stop these sort of things and I’m always happy to help if I can.”

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