LAS VEGAS – UFC strawweight Polyane Viana couldn’t have ended her year in the cage any better than she did on Saturday, could she?
Viana annihilated Jinh Yu Frey on Saturday at UFC Fight Night 214, landing a series of vicious punches that floored his opponent and earned him the victory by KO in 47 seconds at the UFC Apex.
The win meant Viana (13-5 MMA, 4-4 UFC) bounced back from a unanimous decision loss to Tabatha Ricci in his only other fight of 2022 in May. It was also her first knockout win in eight fights since joining UFC 2018. And if that wasn’t enough, Viana earned a $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus for her efforts.
“I come from jiu-jitsu, so most of my fights are submissions, which I really like,” Viana told reporters through an interpreter. “It’s my first knockout (in the UFC). Of course it ranks up there.
She continued, “We came for the knockout. I didn’t expect it to come so quickly, but we came for the knockout.
Like other Brazilians on the card, Viana faced travel issues getting to Las Vegas for fight week the day after the country’s presidential election. While the card resulted in a record four fighters missing weight, Viana was not one of them – neither of the Brazilians was – despite the situation.
“It really bothered me. It was the hardest time I’ve ever had to lose weight,” Viana said. “…I cried in the bathtub. I thanked my team for being around me. They would never let me give up.
“It’s not the athlete’s responsibility to win per se, but it’s the athlete’s responsibility to gain weight.”
With a tough fight week and a gratifying victory behind her, Viana, 30, turns her attention to 2023. Winner of three of her last four fights, Viana said she would like to compete four times next year in the hopes of making a run at the 115-pound title.
She knows exactly when she would like to start.
“I have a date and a place that I would like to fight – in Rio on January 21 (UFC 283),” Viana said. “Let’s see what the UFC comes up with (for an opponent.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s Event Center for UFC Fight Night 214.