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Florida MMA fighter wrestles 10-foot alligator near elementary school

A Florida MMA fighter had the match of a lifetime when he wrestled a 10-foot alligator in front of nearly 200 cheering spectators outside a Jacksonville elementary school, wild video of the encounter shows.

Amateur fighter Mike Dragich, 33, took on the unusual opponent inside a parking lot near the school as people gathered to watch, FOX 35 Orlando reported.

“We get there. I walked through the gate. And boom. There it was just ready to go right there in the parking lot, and we just had to get the job done,” he told the local station. 

Footage captures Mike Dragich approaching the 10-foot alligator in front of spectators outside a Jacksonville elementary school. Footage captures Mike Dragich approaching the 10-foot alligator in front of spectators outside a Jacksonville elementary school.
Fox 35 Orlando

Dragich, dressed in a muscle shirt, grabbed the large gator by the tail in an attempt to drag it as onlookers screamed at the reptile’s escapes and snaps, according to the video.

After the beast broke free, the local veteran armed himself with a catch pole which he was able to put around the alligator’s neck.

The animal rolled around in continuous circles fighting the restraint as the crowd screams while closely watching the man-vs.-beast match-up.

“I felt like Batman, for real, you know,” he told the station.

With the catch pole still around the gator’s neck, the MMA fighter jumps onto the animal’s shoulders and he and multiple Jacksonville firefighters sit on the reptile to hold it down.

“A lot of fighters will understand that when you go to the cage, you’re nervous but once that cage door closes, you gotta be focused and honestly that’s what I remembered from that night,” Dragich said. 

Mike Dragich, who is also an MMA fighter, said he felt like Batman during the situation, adding that he approached the situation as if he was in the cage fighting an opponent.
Mike Dragich jumps onto the alligator's shoulders while multiple Jacksonville firefighters assist him by sitting on the reptile to hold it down.
Fox 35 Orlando

Alligators are common in Florida with a statewide population of about 1.3 million.

Floridians can report “nuisance” gators over four feet in length that may pose a threat to people, pets or property in order to have a licensed trapper come out to remove them, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The reptiles that are removed are then euthanized so that they do not return to the locations where they were captured or cause disruptions to existing alligator social structures in other areas, the Commission states.