Los Angeles Lakers star Ron Artest helped break up a ferocious man vs. woman fistfight in front of an L.A. nightclub this weekend ... and TMZ obtained footage of the entire incident.
Artest had just left a club -- and was walking down Hollywood Blvd. when a woman and a man began to throw punches at each other RIGHT NEXT to the NBA superstar.
After some bobbing and weaving, 6'7", 260 pound Artest stepped in and quickly separated the two combatants. Once both fighters were restrained, Artest got into a waiting vehicle and went home.
TMZ spoke with Artest who told us, "Unfortunately there was a situation at the club and some people had too much to drink, and got unruly and aggressive. I tried to diffuse the situation. Some people just don't think clearly when they've had too much to drink -- it's an unfortunate reality. "
We also spoke with the female fighter -- who admits she was "wasted" ... but insists the other guy instigated the violence.