Tucsonan Anthony Birchak is a household name in MMA and UFC. Now he’s fighting to get his belts back after someone broke into a Tucson mixed martial arts school, and stole his championship belts.
“They’re worth nothing and they’re worth everything.”
Anthony Birchak is talking about several of his MMA championship belts. They were stolen earlier this week from his midtown Mixed Martial Srts school, 10th Planet Tucson Jiu Jitsu.
“Once my wife got here, she was like hey, the championship belts are gone,” Birchak says.
Thieves broke into his studio by breaking through plywood covering an already broken window. Birchak says the only things taken were several of his championship belts.
“Seeing things like that, the gold, maybe he thought they were worth something. Maybe he doesn’t know half of them were decorative plastic, half of them were decorative metal with fake stones,” says Birchak.
The real value for Birchak are what the belts represent, especially his first championship belt with MFC, the Maximum Fighting Championship (MFC) in Canada.
Nicknamed El Toro, Birchak earned that belt just weeks after the death of his brother, and the birth of his son Jett.
“When I look at that belt all of those emotions come rushing back to me, you know, ” Birchak tells me.
Birchak is a graduate of Sahuarita High School and calls Tucson home.
He says he’ll likely ask the owner of the building where his studio is located to help install better security.
And to the person who stole his championship belts, Birchak says:
“There’s no consequences if you bring them back. Those things are priceless to me. You know, I know you’re not going to get anything out of the pawn shops. But the memories and the sacrifices and everything that I’ve given to this sport those are in those things.”
This isn’t the first time Birchak has been burglarizedsomeone also broke into his home in 2014 when he was making his UFC debut, and stole his MFC championship ring.