MMA hero Ro Malabanan thought of his mom before taking down NYC assault suspect

The heroic mixed martial arts fighter who took down an assault suspect in Manhattan thought of his mother before rushing to the rescue of an older victim, he told The Post Friday.

Jiu-jitsu black belt Ro Malabanan, 44, said he pulled the so-called “seatbelt” move — used to drag an opponent to the ground — after seeing Samuel Frazier allegedly sucker punch an older construction worker in the heart of Soho’s shopping district last week.

“The main thing that spurred me into action was the fear that he may actually hurt another person. What popped up in my mind was my parents because they’re older,” said Malabanan, who is also trained in judo and boxing.

MMA fighter Ro Malabanan helped stop an assault in Manhattan by using Jiu-jitsu.
Stephen Yang
Malabanan used a “seatbelt” move to drag the suspect to the ground.
Suspect Samuel Frazier allegedly sucker-punched an elderly construction worker.

“I found out that he hit an elderly person and a teenager so obviously he didn’t care. I just wanted to get him off the streets as quick as possible.”

Malabanan pinned down Frazier — a homeless man who allegedly delivered “unprovoked” attacks to the heads of at least two random people — then held him until police arrived.

But he was hesitant at first for fear he might get sued or face other consequences, he said.

“I actually didn’t want to get involved because I was afraid something may happen to me or worse like if I did something to him,” he said. 

Malabanan said he thought of his own elderly parents before springing into action to keep the suspect from hurting anyone else.
Stephen Yang

“He could reverse the situation and press charges on me. All these things were going through my mind.”

Malabanan said he took it easy on the assailant, knowing his martial arts training could be held against him in court.

“In New York, you’re only allowed to use as much physical force as a person did to you. Me being a trained individual … I could be held accountable.”

He said the frightening attacks, near Broadway and Prince Street on July 27, are examples of New York’s crippling crime wave.

Malabanan said he believes police officers should use Jiu-jitsu to help them fight crime.
Stephen Yang

“I grew up in New York City, I have lived here for 35 years and I’ve never experienced this much harassment. I get harassed at least once a month,” he said.

“For the past few years, at least after the pandemic, I believe a lot of people are suffering from mental illness. There has been a lot more homelessness and a lot more crime,” he said.

To help combat the problem, he said cops should learn martial arts.

“I strongly believe that most police officers need Jiu-jitsu, frankly speaking, to be able to subdue any perpetrator,” he said. “It should be mandatory for police officers.”

An initial investigation by police found Frazier was struck the heads of a 50-year-old man and a 17-year-old boy without provocation. He was charged with two counts of assault.