UFC strawweight Polyana Viana told mixed martial arts website MMAjunkie that she was waiting for an Uber in the west end of Rio de Janeiro on Saturday night when a man approached her and told her to hand over her cellphone, claiming that he had a gun.
The five-foot-seven, 115-pound Viana decided to take the fight to her harasser, battering him into literal submission before calling police.
“I threw two punches and a kick. He fell, then I caught him in a rear-naked choke,” Viana told MMAjunkie.
“Then I sat him down in the same place we were before and said, ‘Now we’ll wait for the police.’”
Viana’s prowess with the rear-naked choke may have come as a surprise to the would-be thief but is no secret to keen MMA watchers, as she used the strangulation move to garner an impressive victory in her UFC debut in early February.
Viana said the man didn’t attempt to counter the beatdown, and appeared OK with her decision to call the police “because he was scared I was going to beat him up more.” She said it turned out the man’s “gun” was in fact made of cardboard.
She also shared photos of the aftermath, one of which shows her calling police while holding the bloodied man’s hand behind his back as he sits passively.
UFC president Dana White posted one of the photos to Instagram along with the hashtag #badf***ingidea.
For her part, Viana told MMAJunkie that after filing the police report, she simply went home and made dinner.
The 27-year-old has a professional MMA record of 10 wins and two losses.
Rio de Janeiro is one of the world’s most crime-ridden cities, with thousands of robberies reported each week.
High crime rates in Rio de Janeiro and other Brazilian cities have been pinpointed as one of the main reasons behind the rise of Rio-born far-right politician Jair Bolsonaro to the country’s presidency.
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