Panthers fullback Alex Armah used MMA move to stop carjacker

Carolina Panthers, MMA

Carolina Panthers fullback Alex Armah busted out a submission move to prevent a man from breaking into his car.

Panthers fullback Alex Armah could have a side career in the octagon.

Armah had to stop a potential carjacker from hijacking his vehicle last week — and he did so with a hold picked up from watching mixed martial arts (MMA), according to ESPN.

A 32-year-old man, Daniel Cagle, was arrested in the Feb. 6 altercation, which was first reported by the Charlotte Observer. Cagle faces charges of attempted theft into a motor vehicle.

“I wasn’t trying to get physical with him, but he kept trying to run,” Armah told ESPN. “I had to put him in an armbar so he’d stop moving until the cops got there.”

Armah was alerted to Cagle’s alleged attempted break-in of his car, which was parked in the garage of his Charlotte apartment, via an app installed on his phone.

“He got really erratic and started changing his story,” Armah said. “At that point, the [apartment] concierge went ahead and called the cops for me.”

An armbar is one of the most commonly used submissions in MMA, and its origins come from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. While there are many ways to execute an armbar, it’s commonly set up by the subject placing the legs across the opponent’s body, with their arm trapped between the subject’s legs.

From there, the subject applies pressure by pulling the opponent’s arm to his or her body and lying back, hips up.

As explained in MMA Mania’s Ultimate Submission series, an MMA fighter not submitting to an armbar risks tearing ligaments and tendons in his elbow and potential broken bone.

Armah did not learn the move from practicing or competing in martial arts, let alone any high school or NCAA wrestling program. Instead, Armah picked up the move from just watching MMA and wrestling. It helps Armah was also the youngest of four siblings.

“We always messed around, wrestled and everything,” Armah said. “I watched some wrestling here and there on TV, some MMA, all that good stuff. It was nothing new to me.”

Armah held the attempted car thief down for about five minutes until police arrived. The 255-pound NFL player added that he wasn’t afraid that Cagle might have had a weapon on him.

“I have confidence in myself. I didn’t see him as too much of a threat from the position I was in,” he said.

Armah added he feels fortunate to have caught the steal attempt in the act, as it’s not the first time he’s been the victim of a carjacking attempt.

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“Every day across the country somebody is getting their car broken into,” he said. “Oftentimes, the person is either caught a long time after the fact or he’s never found at all. Me being in position to catch the person until the police got there, that was huge.”

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