STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

'I knew how to defend myself,' says UFC star Polyana Viana after subduing wannabe thief

Inundated with messages of support after taking on a wannabe thief, UFC fighter Polyana Viana has begun to r...

Posted: Jan 10, 2019 8:08 PM
Updated: Jan 10, 2019 8:08 PM

Inundated with messages of support after taking on a wannabe thief, UFC fighter Polyana Viana has begun to reflect on an incident that has gone viral.

The 26-year-old was waiting outside her apartment in Rio de Janeiro when she was approached by a man demanding her phone.

Brazil

Continents and regions

Crime, law enforcement and corrections

Criminal offenses

Larceny and theft

Latin America

Mixed martial arts

Property crimes

South America

Sports and recreation

The Americas

Sports organizations and teams

Ultimate Fighting Championship

Business figures

Dana White

Polyana Viana

Sports figures

Viana's assailant had a fake gun but he hadn't accounted for the Brazilian's Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) training as she launched a devastating counterattack -- aiming two punches and a kick at the man before subduing him with a choke hold from behind.

Visit CNN.com/Sport for more news, features and videos

"When he got close, I already thought if this guy is a thief, I'll do this and that. I already knew what I was going to do," Viana told CNN Sport.

"I did not do it on impulse, I was calm, I knew what I was going to do. But I only did it because I knew he did not have a gun."

Viana held the man down until police arrived to make the arrest.

READ: Polyana Viana -- Why you should never pick on a UFC fighter

Pictures from the alleged incident, reportedly taken by Viana, appeared on UFC president Dana White's Instagram account showing the man's gruesome injuries.

"On the left is @polyanaviana, one of our @UFC fighters and on the right is the guy who tried to rob her," wrote White, who added: "#Badf***ingidea"

Meanwhile, Viana hasn't been able to answer all the messages of support she's received.

"I got to see how much people like me," said the Brazilian, who has a 1-1 record in UFC.

"My fans, family, friends, they all sent me messages asking me if I am OK or if I got hurt. I still haven´t answered every one."

READ: Mayweather pummels kickboxing opponent Nasukawa in first round TKO

The Rio police department were unable to confirm the individuals involved in the incident but told CNN Sport that an attempted robbery had taken place.

"A criminal was found immobilized by civilians after trying to rob a person on site," a statement read. "A fake gun was seized with him."

Viana says "nothing had changed" following her ordeal and that's she been busy training -- and dealing with the influx of attention.

But Viana cautioned she doesn't want her actions to inspire others who might find themselves in a similar situation.

"I would not recommend it at all. I'm a trained fighter. I knew how to defend myself because I have knowledge and more so because I managed to stay calm," she added.

Viana's next UFC fight will be against Hannah Cifers on March 2 at the T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 20573

Reported Deaths: 878
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin6918534
Ramsey231697
Stearns192312
Nobles14572
Anoka116455
Dakota105935
Olmsted55110
Washington50626
Kandiyohi4541
Clay36623
Rice3652
Scott3462
Wright2401
Sherburne2081
Todd1970
Benton1662
Carver1612
Mower1501
Steele1400
Martin1245
Blue Earth1121
St. Louis11113
Pine850
Freeborn840
Winona7715
Carlton730
Nicollet683
Cottonwood620
Polk582
Otter Tail550
Itasca527
Goodhue522
Watonwan500
Chisago481
Dodge430
Meeker420
Crow Wing421
Le Sueur411
Chippewa400
Jackson390
Morrison380
Murray350
Becker320
Lyon310
Douglas290
McLeod260
Isanti250
Waseca240
Rock210
Unassigned199
Fillmore171
Mille Lacs161
Wabasha160
Swift150
Sibley120
Beltrami120
Wilkin113
Norman110
Kanabec111
Cass113
Faribault110
Brown112
Pipestone100
Marshall80
Pennington70
Pope70
Aitkin60
Wadena60
Yellow Medicine50
Koochiching50
Lincoln50
Mahnomen51
Renville50
Lac qui Parle30
Red Lake30
Big Stone30
Redwood30
Traverse30
Grant20
Houston20
Clearwater20
Hubbard10
Kittson10
Lake10
Roseau10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 17227

Reported Deaths: 456
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk3714108
Woodbury255524
Black Hawk167639
Linn92775
Marshall86611
Dallas84914
Johnson5987
Muscatine54339
Wapello5004
Crawford4772
Tama39023
Louisa3347
Scott3319
Dubuque31916
Jasper25616
Buena Vista2310
Pottawattamie2106
Sioux1990
Washington1798
Allamakee1184
Wright1170
Plymouth1080
Warren1060
Story941
Poweshiek888
Bremer676
Henry611
Clinton601
Boone540
Des Moines531
Mahaska526
Cedar451
Guthrie433
Taylor370
Benton371
Jones360
Monroe334
Iowa320
Clarke320
Osceola320
Shelby310
Buchanan310
Clayton303
Marion290
Webster271
Fayette260
Hamilton260
Madison241
Monona230
Cerro Gordo221
Lee220
Winneshiek210
Davis200
Lyon190
Grundy190
Harrison190
Floyd181
Jefferson150
Cherokee150
Butler150
Mills140
Delaware140
Humboldt130
Sac130
Greene130
Keokuk130
Hardin130
Howard120
Hancock120
Appanoose123
Audubon111
Jackson110
Cass110
Ida100
Page100
Clay100
Winnebago100
Carroll90
Van Buren80
Franklin80
Dickinson80
Adair80
Chickasaw80
Kossuth70
Emmet70
Lucas60
Montgomery60
Union60
Adams50
Ringgold40
Fremont40
Pocahontas40
Mitchell40
Palo Alto30
Worth30
Unassigned30
Calhoun20
Wayne10
Decatur00
Rochester
Overcast
64° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 64°
Mason City
Broken Clouds
65° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 65°
Albert Lea
Scattered Clouds
66° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 66°
Austin
Broken Clouds
70° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 70°
Charles City
Overcast
66° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 66°
Storms a brewin'
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Will Memorial Day cause a coronavirus spike?

Image

Can you catch Covid-19 from mosquitos?

Image

125 Live Restaurant partnership

Image

Taps in City Park

Image

100 Most traveled days in MN have begun

Image

Parade in the park

Image

Field of Flags

Image

Pausing the pandemic to remember the fallen

Image

Memorial Day Dinner

Image

Salvation Army Dental Care Needs PPE

Community Events