Las Vegas, NV — UFC strawweight Polyana Viana made sure to get herself healed up and ready to go ahead of her UFC Vegas 78 match-up with fellow Brazilian Iasmin Lucindo.
Viana had been expected to face off with Emily Ducote earlier this year — but hobbled by a pair of injuries, she opted to pull out of the fight.
“I actually had a fight scheduled to go and I had two injuries, one kind of back-to-back with the other, and I decided not to fight injured,” Viana (13-5) told media outlets including Cageside Press during Thursday’s media day. The Brazilian had done that once before, and regrets it. “I fought with a broken toe on my foot, and I didn’t have a good performance.”
When it comes to the all-Brazil match-up with Lucindo, a newer face in the UFC, Viana is taking it in stride. “I don’t know much about her, but sooner or later we’re going to face each other. I know it’s going to be Brazil vs. Brazil. Preferably would not like to fight her, but hey, whatever. Let’s get at it, let’s go at it.”
Having spent roughly two years at the famed Chute Boxe in Brazil now, alongside the likes of Charles Oliveira, a different Polyana Viana has begun to emerge.
“I’ve said from the beginning, I used to say that I only wanted the money, and I said I wasn’t ready to go after a belt. And I do feel that I am [ready] right now,” stated Viana. “It’s a completely different game. I feel that I’ve improved so much. I think I’ve improved standing up, I’ve improved on the ground, I’ve improved against the fence. I didn’t even want to face ranked opponents, [now] I want to face a ranked opponent. I feel that I’m ready to face top ten, top five, even top one.”
“I’ve improved a lot. It’s been great,” she added.
Viana has become known online for her cosplay efforts, and that’s something she’d like to carry over to the UFC, particularly when it comes to walkouts. The promotion, however, has been less than open to the idea.
“I’ve tried so many times and I’ve actually asked to come in with a bandana. They’ve never allowed it. I wanted a cape,” she noted. “I’ve tried with like a blank bandana, I can’t. Apparently Naruto is a brand that doesn’t allow it or something like that. I’ve tried so many times, I’ve asked, they never let me do it, but if I could, I definitely would.”
Watch the full UFC Vegas 78 media day appearance by Polyana Viana above.