A female Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighter allegedly beat a would-be robber on Saturday after the man threatened her and tried to steal her phone in Rio de Janeiro.
Twenty-six-year-old UFC fighter Polyana Viana told MMAjunkie on Sunday that she was approached by a man while she was waiting for an Uber driver. After asking her for the time, he demanded she give him her cellphone and told her he was armed.
Making a split-second decision, Viana decided the “gun” he claimed to have was likely “too soft” to be an actual gun and deployed two punches and a kick to the man, and as he fell to the ground, she caught him in a headlock, she recalled. The fighter said she held him until the cops arrived.
“When he saw I saw him, he sat next to me. He asked me the time, I said it, and I saw he wasn’t going to leave. So I already moved to put my cell phone in my waist. And then he said, ‘Give me the phone. Don’t try to react, because I’m armed.’ Then he put his hand over [a gun], but I realized it was too soft,” she told the publication.
“He was really close to me. So I thought, ‘If it’s a gun, he won’t have time to draw it.’ So I stood up. I threw two punches and a kick. He fell, then I caught him in a rear-naked choke,” she continued.
“Then I sat him down in the same place we were before and said, ‘Now we’ll wait for the police,'” she added.
It was later revealed that Viana’s hunch was correct: the potential robber did not have a gun, but a piece of cardboard in the shape of a gun, the fighter claimed.
Viana also noted that she’s been targeted for burglaries in Brazil on two other occasions.
A photo of the alleged robber, looking beaten and bloodied, was posted by UFC president Dana White to Instagram and quickly went viral on Sunday.
“On the left is [Polyana Viana], one of our [UFC] fighters and on the right is the guy who tried to rob her,” captioned White. He added the hashtag, “bad f***ing idea.”
The alleged failed mugger was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. Viana did not suffer any injures.
The athlete has a 10-2 mark in mixed martial arts (MMA) and a 1-1 record in the UFC. According to Bleacher report, Viana hasn’t fought since taking a loss to JJ Aldrich in August.