When a would-be thief saw 26-year-old Polyana Viana waiting for a taxi on Saturday outside her Rio de Janeiro apartment, he apparently concluded she was easy prey.
He asked her what time it was, she reportedly said, before trying to bully her into giving him her cellphone. He also told her he had a gun.
She quickly sized up the situation – it’s second nature for the UFC straw-weight, who has won 10 of her 12 professional fights.
“He was really close to me. So I thought, ‘If it’s a gun, he won’t have time to draw it,’” she told MMAJunkie.com in an interview. “So I stood up. 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.’”
Photos posted on social media of the mugger show his bloodied, bruised and swollen face. The supposed gun, it turns out, was actually a cardboard cutout.
The mugger was taken to a hospital before he was transported to a police station. Viana did not suffer any injuries.
I was fine,” Viana said to MMAJunkie. “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…because he saw I was very angry. I said I wouldn’t let go and that I was going to call the police … He said, ‘Call the police, then’ because he was scared I was going to beat him up more.”
UFC President Dana White posted the photo of the thug right beside one of a cool-as-a-cucumber Viana.
White wrote: “On the left is @polyanaviana, one of our @UFC fighters and no the right is the guy who tried to rob her.”
Viana has had to teach other thugs lessons in the past.
There was one incident, for example, where two men on a motorcycle tried to steal her phone, but when she punched one of them the attempt came to a fast end.