Sorry mugger who punched above his weight

Polyana Viana (left), an Ultimate Fighting Championship strawweight, brought the robber down with two punches and a kick.
Polyana Viana (left), an Ultimate Fighting Championship strawweight, brought the robber down with two punches and a kick. PHOTO: INSTAGRAM/DANAWHITE

RIO DE JANEIRO • A robber who tried to steal a cellphone from a young woman in Rio de Janeiro found out the hard way that mugging a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter who goes by the nickname "the Iron Lady" is not a good idea.

Ms Polyana Viana, an Ultimate Fighting Championship strawweight, brought the hapless mugger down with two punches and a kick and held him in a "rear-naked choke" before making him sit and wait for the police, she told the sports website MMA Junkie.

The attempted crime happened late Saturday as Ms Viana, 27, was waiting for her Uber ride outside her apartment block. She said the man told her he had a gun but she surmised it probably was not real and, in any case, "he won't have time to draw it" before she went into action.

After subduing the assailant she discovered the weapon was in fact a cardboard replica of a pistol.

Ms Viana posted images of the would-be robber, looking dejected and bruised, with blood on his sleeveless shirt and on a hand, as she kept his arm in a "kimura-like position" until the police arrived.

"Since he took the punches very quickly, I think he was scared," she told the site.

She said that after the suspect's processing by police and treatment for his injuries, she went home and made dinner. Her hands hurt a bit the next day, but it was nothing serious and she was otherwise unharmed.

Muggings are a constant risk in Rio and other cities in Brazil. The country's new President, Mr Jair Bolsonaro, was elected on promises to crack down on crime.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 09, 2019, with the headline 'Sorry mugger who punched above his weight'. Print Edition | Subscribe