Before ever stepping foot into the TUF house, Bristol was a hero to his community in his native Washington where he not only stopped a crime in progress, but he also caught the suspect, rendered him useless and restrained him until the police arrived. He did all of this without a superhero outfit he mentioned, as he recounted the story of the day he stopped a crime in progress to MMA Fight Corner.
“Being a superhero, I don’t know about that…but…no bright colors, no giant boots. Actually, I only had a pair of shorts on and my neighbor was screaming for help. This was in Bellevue, Washington. I opened the door, it was late night, not knowing what I find. I saw her laying on her back in her kitchen. Eyes completely wide with fear and this 6? 5?, 220 pounder runs past me and this big guy takes off running. What else am I going to do, chase him down. I chase him down we end up into a gas station parking lot in front of hundreds of moving vehicles and there we face off.”
Turns out, the man he stopped from harming his neighbor was wanted for committing multiple felonies, including burglary and rape. Bristol went into the house to thwart the crime, with no regard for his personal safety. Barefoot and in shorts, Bristol was not carrying an arsenal of weapons on him as he stormed into the house to aid his neighbor. His only weapons were his MMA training and good cardio.
“All I heard was screams for help. They were those kind of screams that you know that something bad is happening. I thought I was going to open the door and see someone getting gutted with knife. It was pretty horrible,” Marunde recalled. “After the fact, I found out that he was a pretty dangerous guy. I didn’t know if he had a gun or a knife. I don’t know what possessed me to do it. I believe in social justice, I think that if people stand up and protect their own communities, we’d have less crime.”
By the time Marunde caught up with the assailant, he realized the only way to detain him until authorities arrived was to use his what he had learned in his years of training.
“He obviously knows he can’t out run me, even though I’m barefoot. I still chased him down. I didn’t let him get one word out of his mouth. I launched probably to this day, the best headkick I’ve ever landed. I caught him right on the side of the face. He did about three cartwheels, it was awesome. I followed up right on him. I stayed on him and I got him in a clinch, and swept his feet, and he went flying on his back and knocked the wind out of him. From right there I held my fist right over his face and I told him ‘if you move, I’m going to kill you.’ He just went limp and he didn’t say a word, he didn’t do nothing until the police got there.”
In his recollection of that day, Marunde said the cops came onto to the scene much like they do in the movies, tires screeching and swarming the perimeter with their cars. Once they’d finally surrounded the assailant and Bristol, the criminal started telling the cops that Bristol was the bad guy and that he’d attacked him. But, the cops already knew who the wanted man was, that he was wanted for multiple crimes and the authorities apprehended him.
Nick Ring, James McSweeney, Benji Radach and now Bristol are all MMA trained fighters who’ve recently stopped crimes in progress. Marunde added that as elite athletes, with the special skill sets that MMA fighters have come to possess, he believes they should step in when bad things go down around them.
“There’s a lot of stories going around. MMA fighters, I think it’s just that we’re not afraid to take initiative and if we see something wrong, we’re going to make it right. You’ve gotta kinda ask the question, is there a certain responsiblity that an MMA fighter has to society to step up? If that’s happening, is an MMA fighter, if that situation happens, do we have to step in and do something? Is that a part of our responsibility?”
Bristol became known to the masses while appearing on season 16 of The Ultimate Fighter. In episode four, Bristol faced off against Julian Lane and defeated him via decision. The win put him into the quarterfinals where Marunde was forced to face teammate Neil Magny. The episode aired last Friday and Marunde fell short of the win against Magny.
Though he may not have succeeded in becoming this season’s Ultimate Fighter, the one-time Strikeforce fighter may surface again with an MMA promotion soon. As he said on TUF after his loss to Neil, “I feel great. I did exactly what Dana told us to do. Go for the knockout, go for the finish, and I just went for it. Maybe I’m out of the tournament, but I’m not out of the game.”