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Caught on Camera: Convenience store thieves pick on wrong clerk

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Houston, TX (CNN) - A group of would-be thieves picked the wrong gas station to rob. They knew when an employee was coming back with a bank bag, but they didn't know another clerk was a mixed martial arts fighter.

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Mayura Dissanayaka was behind the counter when he noticed his co-worker return to the store after a run to the bank. Some men in an SUV were watching too, because they went straight for the man and the bank bag as soon as he got out of his car.

Mayura Dissanayaka – Clerk: “Well just a reaction. You see someone get beat up, you just go out.”

Mayura ran outside and before the two robbers even saw him...

Mayura Dissanayaka: “The first guy I saw, I just kicked him in the face, then I punched the other guy.”

Watch it again Mayura's co-worker is on the ground, taking a beating when Mayura's first kick catches one of the crooks in the face. These are moves Mayura learned from cage matches. He’s trained in mixed martial arts for more than a decade and was named the MMA national champion for 5 consecutive years in his native country of Sri Lanka.

Mayura Dissanayaka: “We learn how to punch, how to kick and all that stuff you can use in the streets.”

Or in this case the parking lot. In seconds the bad guys begin their retreat, the get-away car getting further away.

Mayura Dissanayaka: “They were waiting for them, but when they were running back, I caught one guy with a hook, so he fell down. So they just left him.”

One of the robbers wants to go back for his accomplice and friend, but decides against it when Mayura moves towards him. In the end they left the guy, and just as he does in the ring Mayura put him in submission while he waited for police.

Mayura Dissanayaka: “Just kicked him until he lays down on the floor until he stopped moving cause I wasn't sure if he had like a knife or a gun, so I wanted him to stop moving.”

Police arrested the man identified as 33-year-old Odell Mathis. His partner and the driver got away, but customers of the fuel depot still call this a feel good story – A feel good story, unless you're that guy.

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