A professional mixed-martial artist killed one home invader, put another in the hospital with facial injuries, and sent two more fleeing on New Year’s Day in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
The four assailants, reputedly all gang members, allegedly forced their way into Joseph Lopez’s trailer home after issuing threats against the cage fighter. The mixed-martial artist claims self-defense in the killing, with his lawyer noting the presence of his fiancee, her sister, and the couple’s two-year-old son at the property during the home invasion.
The trailer exhibited dried blood, broken glass, and overturned furniture in the fight’s aftermath. But Joseph Lopez was nowhere to be found. Neighbors said the cage fighter hastily absconded with his belongings in the wake of the deadly donnybrook. The surviving men who accompanied the decedent to the property all face charges. Lopez, who has not been charged with a crime, could face charges as well.
The 155-pound competitor has had worse luck in cage fights than in trailer fights. Sherdog.com lists a 1-5 record, including a first-round loss to up-and-coming UFC lightweight Dustin Poirier, whose most recent opponent threatened to stab him prior to their fight.
Lopez’s case is only the most recent instance of a mixed-martial artist putting his training to real-world use. In September of 2012, Renzo Gracie bruised up one suspected mugger and choked out another in the early morning hours in Manhattan. In 2011, a 250-pound mixed-martial artist found himself at the wrong end of a mugger’s gun. After his $30 didn’t satiate the thief, the anonymous fighter proceeded to beat the bag out of his assailant, leaving him bruised, bloody, and with one of his own bullets lodged in his ankle.