WATCH: Man grapples alligator in Florida to keep him away from kids

In a jaw-dropping spectacle that captured the attention of nearly 200 spectators outside a Jacksonville elementary school, a Florida MMA vet engaged in a remarkable battle against a 10-foot alligator. The astonishing encounter, documented in a wild video, left onlookers in awe of the fighter’s audacity and skill.

Amateur martial artist Mike Dragich, aged 33, fearlessly faced this extraordinary opponent within a parking lot adjacent to the school premises, drawing a crowd eager to witness the extraordinary event, as reported by FOX 35 Orlando.

As Dragich recounted the experience to the local station, he described the moment he arrived at the scene: “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.”

Dressed in a muscle shirt, Dragich courageously seized the formidable reptile by its tail, attempting to drag it while the onlookers shouted in a mix of exhilaration and trepidation, as depicted in the video footage.

Despite the alligator’s initial escape, the resourceful local veteran swiftly armed himself with a catch pole, skillfully looping it around the alligator’s neck. The fierce battle between man and beast unfolded as the alligator vehemently resisted, rolling in continuous circles while the crowd watched intently, their collective screams adding to the adrenaline-charged atmosphere.

Reflecting on the intensity of the encounter, Dragich likened his experience to that of Batman, acknowledging the rush of adrenaline and focus required to navigate such a formidable challenge.

With the catch pole securely fastened around the alligator’s neck, the MMA star, aided by multiple Jacksonville firefighters, mustered the strength to mount the reptile’s shoulders, employing their combined weight to subdue the mighty creature.

Drawing parallels to his experiences in the MMA cage, Dragich spoke of the nerves that accompany entering the arena, yet highlighted the importance of remaining focused once the cage door closes. This same mindset guided him during the gripping alligator confrontation, underscoring his mental fortitude in high-pressure situations.

Alligators are a common sight in Florida, with an estimated statewide population of approximately 1.3 million. In the interest of public safety, Floridians can report alligators exceeding four feet in length, which may pose a threat to individuals, pets, or property. Licensed trappers are then dispatched to remove these “nuisance” alligators, ensuring the safety of the community, according to the guidelines set by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

It is worth noting that the alligators removed from these situations are humanely euthanized to prevent their return to the captured locations or disruptions to existing alligator social structures in other areas, as outlined by the Commission.

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