Rio de Janeiro, BRAZIL – A would-be mugger’s attempt to steal from a professional female fighter on Saturday night didn’t go quite as he had planned.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) straw-weight fighter Polyana Viana, 27, said she was waiting for an Uber outside her apartment at about 8 p.m. on Saturday night, when a man snuck up on her, MMA Junkie reported.
“When he saw [that] I saw him, he sat next to me,” Viana said. “He asked me the time.”
Even though she answered his question, it immediately became apparent the man was not going to leave, she said.
Sensing a potential threat, Viana started to put her cell phone inside her waistband when the man suddenly confronted her.
“He said, ‘Give me the phone. Don’t try to react, because I’m armed,’” she recalled. “He was really close to me. So I thought, ‘If it’s a gun, he won’t have time to draw it.’”
Viana said she also realized that the object the man was holding under his shirt appeared to be “too soft” to be a gun, so she decided she wasn’t going to hand over her phone and become a victim.
“So I stood up,” she said. “I threw two punches and a kick. He fell, then I caught him in a rear-naked choke. Then I sat him down in the same place we were before and said, ‘Now we’ll wait for the police.’”
The five-foot, five-inch, 115-pound fighter held the man in an armlock and asked a passerby to call police, she said.
“I was fine,” Viana told MMA Junkie. “I was fine because he didn’t even react after. Since he took the punches very quickly, I think he was scared. So he didn’t react anymore.”
“He told me to let him go, like ‘I just asked for the time,’” she scoffed. “I said, ‘Asked for the time my -ss.’”
At that point he began asking her to call the police, “because he was scared I was going to beat him up more,” Viana said.
When the police arrived, they determined the object the suspect had tried to rob Viana with was nothing more than a piece of cardboard haphazardly torn into the shape of a handgun.
The suspect sustained multiple injuries during the brief altercation, and was taken to an emergency room for treatment.
Viana said she went down to the police station to file a report, then decided to go back home and make dinner.
On Sunday, UFC President Dana White posted a photograph of the bloodied attacker to Instagram.
“On the left is [Polyana Viana], one of our [UFC] fighters and on the right is the guy who tried to rob her…#bad f–king idea,” White wrote.
It was the second time that she has singlehandedly defended herself during an attack outside the ring, she said.
The other incident occurred in Belem, after two men pulled up next to her on a motorcycle.
One got off, broke her umbrella, and tried to steal her phone, Viana recalled.
“I said I wasn’t going to give it to him. He tried to take it from my hand, I punched him in the face, and he was scared,” she said.
Viana said she was scared during that encounter because there were two men, but that the suspect must have been more afraid than she was.
“He jumped on the motorcycle and left,” she said.
Viana has a 1-1 record in the UFC and a 10-2 mark in mixed martial arts, according to the Bleacher Report.