Brazilian MMA fighter Maria Ribeiro unleashed her Wonder Woman alias by pinning down an alleged pervert until police arrived after spotting the “idiot” exposing himself near her home as she set off for a spot of family shopping.
A suspected flasher made the foolish mistake of enraging professional MMA fighter Ribeiro when he appeared to expose his genitals as she stepped outside of her house during quarantine in the Brazilian city of Sinop.
Ribeiro, who knocked her opponent out inside a minute in her first pro bout, said she had chased after the fleeing flasher, briefly fought him to the ground and held him down until the police arrived.
“My sister-and-law and I were getting ready to go to the grocery store when a man got off his bike and started exposing himself to us and making gestures,” explained the 27-year-old, whose nickname is Wonder Woman. “We told him off, but it wasn’t enough.
“Then he ran off and we decided to catch up with him. Unluckily for him, I’m a fighter, and know exactly what to do in these situations. I caught up to him and fought him off. I kept him there.
“There was a small commotion after I caught up with him. The women here in Sinop were all cheering for me.”
Strawweight scrapper Ribeiro had decided to leave her Curitiba training base to join her family in quarantine during the Covid-19 pandemic, but any ring rustiness she felt was not in evidence as her civic instincts took hold.
“I have kids, nieces and nephews in my family,” said the outraged Brave Combat Federation fighter. “My neighborhood is very child-friendly and to have this guy on the loose was no good.
“He kept trying to get out of it, saying he had some meat in his pants, but we have witnesses. It could have been a child, a teenager, but thanks to God [he encountered] me. I know how to defend myself very well and while I am standing I will defend women from vagabonds like that. I wouldn’t feel at peace with myself if I didn’t try to get him.”
Recreating the look of her favorite superhero by standing on the scales in a gold and red tiara and outfit before fights, Ribeiro followed up her lightning victory over Micol di Segni with a creditable points defeat against Karolina Wojcik.
“I love Wonder Woman because she’s that boss lady who takes charge, and that’s what I did in that situation.
“I like to think I’m a bit like her, and I felt empowered being able to help take a criminal down just like the character.
“I can’t imagine how many women go through something like this on a daily basis, and I did it for them too.”
“I got so many messages from women in my social media, and it feels great to know that this idiot didn’t get away with it.”
Professional fighters including kickboxer Dayane Cordova and former UFC competitor Felipe Silva added words of support and admiration as Ribeiro relayed warnings about female harassment on Instagram.
She has taken part in sparring sessions while wearing a protective mask as part of health measures during the Covid-19 outbreak in Brazil, where President Jair Bolsonaro has criticized the idea of a lockdown to prevent the spread of the virus, calling it a “crime.”
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