When a female UFC fighter's street beatdown made a robber beg for police custody
A female UFC fighter's street beatdown of a robber set the MMA community abuzz a few years ago, primarily owing to how it made the robber himself beg for the police.
The MMA stalwart and UFC fighter involved in the case was none other than UFC women's strawweight competitor Polyana Viana. In January 2019, the Brazilian fighter was waiting for an Uber outside her apartment in Jacarepagua, which is a neighborhood in the West Zone of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Narrating the incident to TMZ Sports, Viana suggested that a man sneaked up and sat next to her on the curb. He then asked her the time, to which she responded. Realizing that the person wasn't going to leave, she decided to tuck her mobile phone in her pants.
The man then demanded that she hand over her phone to him, threatening that he was armed. Viana indicated that the gun he displayed bent a bit and appeared to be soft, leading her to believe it was probably not a real gun.
In an interview with MMA Junkie after the January 2019 attempted robbery incident, Polyana Viana highlighted that a few years back, she'd fended off a pair of robbers in Belem as well. Furthermore, regarding the 2019 incident, Viana noted that she sprang into action and hit the man with two punches and a kick, securing a knockdown.
She then caught him in a rear-naked choke. The robber was in pain and pleaded to be let go. Nevertheless, Viana refused and told him she was going to call the police. Following that, he begged her to hand him over to the police.
Passers-by called the police, while Viana incapacitated the robber by holding his hand in a Kimura-like position. The police eventually arrived, took the alleged robber to the hospital, and later to the police station where a report was filed.
It was unraveled that the alleged robber had a criminal record and had recently been released after being arrested. 'Iron Lady' explained that the gun was later revealed to be a cardboard cutout fake weapon. Revisiting the incident, the Brazilian fighter stated:
"[After the beat down], I sat him down in the same place we were before and said, ‘Now we’ll wait for the police.'"
A closer look at UFC women's strawweight mainstay Polyana Viana's recent run
Polyana Viana boasts a professional MMA record of 13 victories and 6 defeats. Since joining the UFC organization in February 2018, 'Iron Lady' has notched four wins and suffered five losses. The 31-year-old has competed in the flyweight (125-pound) and strawweight (115-pound) divisions in her career thus far.
Speaking of her recent UFC run, Polyana Viana has won three and lost two of her past five fights. In her latest fight, Viana was beaten by young Brazilian prospect Iasmin Lucindo via second-round submission in August 2023. Viana currently competes in the UFC's women's strawweight division. Her next opponent and comeback date haven't been officially announced yet.