Last weekend, 27-year-old Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) star Polyana Viana was forced to use her fighting skills for self-defense after a mugger attempted to rob her outside of her apartment in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. A man reportedly approached her while she was waiting for an Uber and asked her for the time. After she told him what time it was, he told her that he wasn’t leaving and demanded that she give him her phone.
Viana told MMA Junkie:
“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.”
It turns out, the item Viana felt in the mugger’s pocket was actually a piece of cardboard cut into the shape of a gun. She explained what happened next:
“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. Then I sat him down in the same place we were before and said, ‘Now we’ll wait for the police.’”
Viana said the mugger didn’t put up a fight and seemed terrified once she began to defend herself.
“I was fine. 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.’ I said, ‘Asked for the time my ass,’ because he saw I was very angry. I said I wouldn’t let go and that I was going to call the police,” Viana said.
“He said, ‘Call the police, then’ because he was scared I was going to beat him up more,” she added.
Viana said that there were actually two assailants, but the accomplice got on a motorcycle and sped away. Viana was able to subdue the main attacker until police arrived.
“He broke my umbrella and tried to take my phone. 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. This time I was scared. I don’t know if it was because there were two of them. So I was scared, but I think he was more scared than I was, so he jumped on the motorcycle and left.”
UFC president Dana White later tweeted a photo of the attacker:
A statement from the local police department confirmed that a “fake gun” was found on the mugger.
“A criminal was found immobilized by civilians after trying to rob a person on site. A fake gun was seized with him,” the statement read.
Polyana Viana’s next fight will take place in Las Vegas on March 3rd, against Hannah Cifers, according to ESPN.