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HERO Who Stopped Knife Maniac Gets UFC Praise

2/15/2011 2:45 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

The HERO who stopped a knife-wielding maniac in NYC this weekend got a surprise visit from UFC president Dana White yesterday ... after Dana learned Joseph Lozito used an MMA move to take down the bad guy.

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It's an unbelievable story -- Lozito was brutally attacked and stabbed in a NYC subway train on Saturday by Maksim Gelman -- who had been targeted in a massive manhunt after allegedly murdering four people and injuring five during a 28-hour stabbing spree.

But after being stabbed in his head and his arm --Lozito managed to drop Maksim with a single leg takedown ... a move he learned from 20 years of watching the UFC.

Cops swooped in moments later and took Maksim into custody.

Lozito doesn't believe he's a hero. We beg to differ.

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