A BJJ purple belt and MMA veteran recently protected a group of school kids by wrestling a 10 foot alligator in Jacksonville, Florida. This isn’t the first time that an experienced BJJ practitioner has managed to use his grappling skills to battle against a wild animal, but it’s one of only a handful of examples where they actually volunteered for the task. Mike Dragich jumped in to help Florida Fire and Rescue secure the large animal right outside an elementary school and although he has had experience with alligators before thanks to his work as a trapper, this was a very big challenge.
Dragich is 33 years old and has been practicing Jiu-Jitsu for quite some time, even competing on the amateur regional MMA circuit since the end of 2021. To date, he’s managed to put together a 2-2 amateur record in the sport and has competed as recently as the end of 2022. Thanks to his extensive experience in both trapping animals and grappling people, Dragich explains that he didn’t hesitate to step in:
“I felt like Batman. … These people were scared to death of this alligator.”
Just like an MMA fight or a BJJ match, Dragich had to use a tactical approach to succeed in wrestling the alligator into submission. It’s not as simple as just jumping on the animal in the hope that you end up winning, and the strength different between humans and certain animals is truly astounding. Dragich explained how he managed to achieve the feat too:
“There’s nothing that gets the juices flowing and the adrenaline pumping quite like messing with a big alligator, but what I was doing was getting him tired. You’ve got to get these animals tired, or they can really hurt you.”
The initial news report of the BJJ purple belt and MMA veteran wrestling a 10 foot alligator in order to protect school kids was uploaded to the official YouTube channel of Inside Edition: