MMA Fighter Stops Crime, Subdues Vodka Thief

MMA veteran Jesse Finney walked into a grocery store in Crestwood, Mo. on Dec. 21, looking to get some chocolate for his wife.

Little did he know that his MMA skills would come in handy moments after he walked into the store

Apparently, a man inside the store lifted a few bottles of vodka, and Finney observed the man battling with a female store clerk, trying to make his escape. However Finney — who has a 5-1-0 professional MMA record — decided to intervene, taking the suspect down and keeping him subdued until authorities arrived.

“I didn’t know if he had robbed the place, or if he’d assaulted somebody, I just saw her. He was pushing her off,” Finney explained, per Sunset Hills-Crestwood Patch’s Karlie Baker.

Finney’s last fight was in 2010 against UFC veteran Josh Neer — who submitted him during the first round of their encounter with a guillotine choke. The 38 year-old announced his retirement in 2011, and he now runs Finney’s HIT Squad (formerly H.I.T. Squad), which was founded by former UFC welterweight champion, Matt Hughes.

Finney credits his MMA training for his poise under pressure.

“In the martial arts, it teaches you discipline and respect,” Finney added. “If I wasn’t disciplined, I probably would have hurt the guy … Instead, I took him down and a bottle broke in his jacket. That’s what we really try to focus on at the gym here in Crestwood … My wife was like, ‘What if he had had a gun?’ but at the end of the day, I just acted on instinct. I’m not going to let a man push a woman. It was pretty amazing, I was able to stop him, and nobody got hurt.”

Everything turned out okay for all parties involved (maybe not for the vodka bandit), but I have mixed feelings about Finney’s actions. As the MMA veteran pointed out, he didn’t have enough time to determine if the shoplifter had any lethal weapons, and things could have turned out differently if that was the case.

I just don’t think risking your well-being for a few bottles of vodka, is ever the right move, even if things turn out okay.

David is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing practitioner who has watched and studied MMA for the past 7 years. Follow him on Twitter @davidkingwriter and check out his blog.


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