HOUSTON - You saw him first on Local 2 -- a convenience store clerk who turned the table on a pair of robbers.
Mayura Dissanyake is a semi-pro mixed martial arts fighter who came to the rescue of a co-worker. Now his story has gone viral. Local 2's Amy Davis talked to the clerk-turned-hero about his newfound fame.
On Facebook, viewers wrote "Kudos to the store clerk" and "I want this guy for my bodyguard."
After Local 2 posted the story on Click2Houston.com, more than 4.5 million people worldwide have watched the video.
"I love it," Dissanyake told Local 2. "I'm having so much fun reading the comments, messages, everything."
Dissanyake went to sleep Friday night after the Local 2 story aired and woke up to some 500 Facebook friend requests. He hopes trending on social media will translate to more fans of his fights in the ring.
"Whenever I have more fans, then I'm going to have more fights because people are coming to see me, so the promoters like that," he said.
While Local 2 was at the store, a radio reporter stopped by. Dissanyake did another interview with CNN. He's not just popular in the United States.
Newspapers and media outlets in his native country of Sri Lanka are picking up the story. Friends and family back home posted the front-page news stories online, calling him a hero. His parents are doing a TV interview in Sri Lanka Monday.
"I texted my dad and I said that I was going to make you proud and I did," said Dissanyake. "He was like, 'I was proud the day you were born.'"
While he's got the skills, he knows what he did earlier this month was risky.
"I'm more alert than before now," he said.
He keeps a watchful eye in case the suspect or his accomplices return, but he has no regrets.
"I would do the same thing," he told Local 2.
Odell Mathis, the man Dissanyake beat into submission, bonded out of the Harris County Jail. Mathis, 33, is charged with robbery with bodily injury.
If you want to see Dissanyake's moves in person, you can. He's fighting at the Bayou City Event Center on Aug. 23.
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