UFC strawweight contender, Polyana Viana has dismissed recent rumours that she’s in a relationship with the polarizing former interim welterweight champion, Colby Covington — claiming “we’re just friends“.

Viana, who recently made her Octagon return at UFC 258 in February — earned Performance of the Night accolades via her second straight armbar win, this time against Mallory Martin, snapping a six-month layoff. 

Speculation began to spiral yesterday afternoon after Covington posted a picture of himself and the Para native across his Instagram and Twitter profiles, with many in the community suggested the pair were involved romantically in a relationship. 

Polyana Viana

Dispelling those rumours in timely fashion, the 28-year-old contender claimed that she and Covington are “just friends” as she responded to a user on the Instagram page, @stupidmma. Replying to another commenter who asked if Covington was now in the ‘friend-zone’ — Viana replied; “@aareyes_23 yes, I already have a boyfriend.” (H/T @jasoneg33)

Covington, who called time on his lengthy stay with Dan Lambert’s, American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Florida — left in rather unceremonious circumstances, involved in high-profile fallouts with former teammates, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Dustin Poirier, and maybe most infamously, Jorge Masvidal, 

Plying his trade at MMA Masters also in the ‘Sunshine State’ — Covington returned from a UFC 245 championship challenge knockout loss to Kamaru Usman to defeat former champion, Tyron Woodley.

Headlining UFC Vegas 11 in September, Covington exacted a one-sided wrestling clinic against the St. Louis native on his way to a comfortable decision win, until Woodley suffered a rib injury during a grappling exchange in the fifth round, resulting in a TKO victory for Covington. 

Rejecting a proposed short-notice matchup with perennial contender, Leon Edwards for UFC Vegas 21 next weekend, Covington claimed he wasn’t feeling philanthropic, detailing how he wouldn’t do “charity for the Birmingham native, who subsequently drew Belal Muhammad at the event

A six-fight Octagon veteran, Brazilian grappler, Viana has established a two-fight winning-run for the first time in her promotional stint — adding Martin to a prior armbar stoppage of Emily Whitmire last August. Debuting with a rear-naked choke triumph over Maia Stevenson, Viana would then drop a trio of defeats to JJ Aldrich, Hannah Cifers, and compatriot, Veronica Macedo. 

Viana infamously hit the headlines globally back in January of 2019, after she subdued a man who had attempted to rob her with a fake firearm, striking and subduing the assailant until law enforcement arrived to apprehend the attempted robber. Viana received major praise across the mixed martial arts community for her actions — facing no charges after the incident. 

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.