Don't mess with a UFC fighter.
Don’t mess with a UFC fighter.Source: Twitter

A robber who tried to steal a cellphone from a young woman in Rio de Janeiro learned the hard way that mugging a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter who goes by the nickname “the Iron Lady” is not an excellent idea.

Polyana Viana, an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) strawweight, brought the hapless perp 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 Viana, 27, was waiting for an Uber outside her apartment block. She said the man told her he had a gun but she surmised it probably wasn’t 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.

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

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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.

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

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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 nothing serious and she was otherwise unharmed.

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UFC president Dana White tweeted, with a photo of the incident: “On the left is Polyana Viana, one of our UFC fighters and on the right is the guy who tried to rob her #badf***ingidea.”

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Conor McGregor has made a strange request for his next fight, calling for an MMA exhibition bout with Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa, who lost to Floyd Mayweather in 139 seconds on New Year’s Eve.

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Mayweather – a recent rival of the erratic McGregor – made $13 million for the boxing exhibition at RIZIN 14 in the Saitama Super Arena near Tokyo.

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Perhaps more interested in the payday than in returning to the UFC octagon, McGregor tweeted his desire to fight the 20-year-old Japanese.

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“I wish to go to Tokyo to face Tenshin Nasukawa in a Mixed Martial Arts exhibition bout,” McGregor said.

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“Before this summer. Please arrange this, this instant. Yours sincerely The champ champ.”

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He tagged the UFC and his management team in the tweet.

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I wish to go to Tokyo to face Tenshin Nasukawa in a Mixed Martial Arts exhibition bout.
Before this summer.
Please arrange this, this instant.
Yours sincerely
The champ champ. @ufc @ParadigmSM

— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) January 7, 2019

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McGregor has not fought since losing to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 in October 2018, a fight marred by disgraceful scenes in and outside of the cage afterwards.

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McGregor’s status is currently unclear as both he and Nurmagomedov await a disciplinary hearing on January 29 in front of the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

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UFC president Dana White said earlier this year if suspensions for the pair are short enough, he would like to see a rematch.

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Max Holloway and Tony Ferguson are also in the mix to fight the pair, should Conor be forced to get into a competitive bout rather than a big-money exhibition.

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The Minnesota Timberwolves have just made what seemed like an inevitable decision, firing president and head coach Tom Thibodeau.

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The news was first reported by The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Jon Krawczynski, with Thibodeau’s volatile tenure in Minnesota coming to an end after nearly three years with the franchise.

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While Thibodeau’s ouster was somewhat expected — especially during the falling out with the team’s former star, Jimmy Butler — the timing is questionable, with the Timberwolves coming off a 22-point win over the Los Angeles Lakers.

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Fred Hoiberg is a serious consideration of Minnesota owner Glen Taylor to become either the GM or head coach in the future, league sources tell ESPN. Hoiberg was an assistant GM in Minnesota prior to Iowa State. Scott Layden remains GM now.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 7, 2019

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Ryan Saunders will fill in as head coach on an interim basis, while Scott Laydon will be the general manager, according to The Athletic.

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Thibodeau finished 97-107 with the Wolves, who returned to the NBA playoffs last spring after a 13-year absence.

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As Butler, Thibodeau’s prized acquisition, forced his way out of Minnesota, however, the season went off to a rocky start to put Thibodeau in a tenuous spot.

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LISTEN! On this week’s League Pass and Chill, we look at James Harden’s insane scoring streak, Jonah Bolden working his way into the 76ers’ rotation, and another less-than-ideal situation involving Jimmy Butler.

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The move was made about an hour after the team’s 108-86 victory on Monday (AEDT) over the Lakers.

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According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Timberwolves CEO Ethan Casson and Layden walked into Thibodeau’s office and fired him after the big win over the Lakers.

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In a brief statement, the club confirmed the news, saying he was relieved of his duties both as coach and president of basketball operations.

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“These decisions are never easy to make, but we felt them necessary to move our organization forward,” Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said.

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Taylor told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that he didn’t think the team had performed up to its abilities.

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“I said let’s let it go and see how things worked and I think now, we’ve gone halfway through the season and I don’t think we’re where we thought we would be or where we think we should be,” Taylor said.

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“I’m just looking at the results. The results are that I don’t think we should’ve lost against Phoenix or Detroit or New Orleans or Atlanta. Maybe one of those games. We just lost against a bunch of teams that we’re a better team.”

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The club said Layden would remain in his role as General Manager and run the day-to-day operations of the basketball department and Saunders will assume the role of interim head coach for the remainder of the 2018-19 season.

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“Ryan has been around now quite a few years,” Taylor said. “He knows the players. The players know him. I think he was probably the best candidate to move ahead.”

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Thibodeau finishes his time in Minneapolis with 97 career wins which ties him for the second-most in club history with Rick Adelman. Thibodeau also has 107 career losses.

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The Timberwolves are missing two key players with injuries, including Derrick Rose who is out with a sprained ankle. Robert Covington is also on the injured list with a bruised knee. The Timberwolves are 11th in the Western Conference standings with a record of 19-21.

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