A former mixed martial artist was standing up for a friend when he was fatally stabbed early Saturday on 16th Avenue N.W., Calgary, Alberta, Canada, according to friends.
They have identified Wyatt Lewis, who was in his mid-30s, as the victim.
He was well known in the Alberta MMA world, having fought all around the province as an expert in Brazilian jujitsu.
“He was such a talented individual. He was a wise person,” said Brad Wall, owner of Progressive Fighting Academy in Lethbridge, where Lewis was an instructor.
Police were called to the 1000 block of 16th Avenue N.W. around 3 a.m. Saturday and found two men with stab wounds. Both were taken to hospital but one was declared dead on arrival.
Wall said he talked to one of the two other people Lewis was with when the incident happened.
He’s been told one guy was hit over the head with a bottle and knocked unconscious. Lewis stepped in to help but was fatally stabbed.
“Wyatt went down trying to save his friend, which is just terrible,” Wall said. “It’s terrible that anybody had to die.”
He added, “If you look at him, you’d never picture him going down to anything. He was like titanium.”
Wall said the group did not know the people who killed Lewis.
Lewis was married with three children, Wall said, and had been working on pipelines.
Before that, though, he was a well-known figure inside the mixed martial artist world in Alberta.
He fought on the very first card at Maximum Fighting Championship, the Edmonton-based promotion, as well as Rumble in the Cage and Rage in the Ring.
He trained with the likes of UFC fighter Nick Ring and Jason MacDonald, Wall said.
“This has been really hard on the fighters,” Wall said.
Mark Pavelich, owner of MFC, said he was a major supporter of the sport across Alberta.
“He was an all-around nice guy. You would be hard pressed to find someone to say something bad about him,” he said.
Wall said no formal funeral plans have been announced.