BELEM, Brazil — Polyana Viana made quick work of Maia Stevenson at UFC Belem, and she won’t waste any time in the sport.
Viana submitted Stevenson with a rear-naked choke in her Octagon debut at the Mangueirinho Arena, and admits that she expected to win easily.
“It didn’t surprise me. That’s what I train to do,” Viana said after the win. “I was the first to arrive in the gym every day to train this position with my coach, and I always said I’d finish her with this. I believed in it and submitted her.”
The strawweight talent says it’s “a dream come true to fight in the UFC” after competing in “backyard promotions” in Brazil, and was thrilled to see UFC president Dana White post on his social media that he was impressed with her performance.
“I was really happy. I’ll screen grab that and post [laughs],” Viana said of White’s Instagram message. “He wasn’t here, Bruce (Buffer) wasn’t here, and I thought he wouldn’t pay much attention to this event because it’s in Brazil, but I’m glad that he complimented me. I’m really happy. … It means that he’s watching me. Maybe now he’ll follow me more.”
Very Impressive @polyana_vianaoficial @fs2
Viana is only 10-1 in MMA, but is already targeting the UFC strawweight championship, which will be on the line in a rematch between Rose Namajunas and Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 223 in April.
With her UFC debut in the past now, Viana says she’s ready to take on a top-10 opponent next and become a UFC title contender in 2019.
“I don’t want to spend years until I get there. I want it soon,” Viana said. “It’s a matter of time. Remember my face, this fat cheek, because you’ll see me with the belt really soon.”