Fighters in L.A. for BJJ tournament stop a robbery at hotel

Maggie Hendricks

Two mixed martial artists from Oregon were in Los Angeles for a grappling tournament, but they ended up using their skills to do much more than win a match. They subdued an armed robber who was holding up the clerk at their hotel. Watch the security video in this report from KCAL-TV.

Brent Alvarez runs Twisted Web MMA in Eugene, Ore., and Billy Denney is his student. They were walking through the hotel lobby when they saw the robber, who had gone behind the hotel's counter, pulled out a gun, and demanded money. The clerk handed over the cash, but yelled for help. Alvarez and Denney jumped on the robber, and while Denney controlled his wrists, Alvarez sunk in a rear naked choke. They held him in place until police arrived.

Alvarez is 2-2 in amateur bouts, while Denney is 7-2. According to the Twisted Web Facebook page, Denney took third at the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation no-gi worlds. (In no-gi, participants wear a rash guard or no shirt instead of the traditional martial arts uniform of a gi.) Alvarez went 1-1 in his fights.

No matter their results, I have a feeling that Denney and Alvarez will remember this trip to L.A. for something other than the tournament. Kudos to them both for being brave and using martial arts to do more than win a match.

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