Puja Tomar Creates History, Becomes First Indian To Win UFC Fight

Mumbai: In a groundbreaking moment for Indian mixed martial arts, Puja Tomar has become the first Indian fighter to secure a victory in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Tomar triumphed over Brazil’s Rayanne dos Santos at UFC Louisville 2024 in a closely contested bout in the women’s strawweight division. The judges scored the fight as a split decision: 30-27, 27-30, and 29-28 in Tomar’s favor.

Hailing from Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh, Tomar had already made headlines last year by being the first Indian woman to sign a UFC contract. Her debut fight demonstrated her prowess and determination, as she dominated the first round with powerful body kicks that forced dos Santos to reconsider her strategy.

The second round saw a resurgence from dos Santos, who pressed forward aggressively, forcing Tomar to counterattack while moving backward. The Brazilian’s switch to a kick-centric approach made the round intensely competitive.

In the decisive third round, both fighters showcased their skills, but it was Tomar’s decisive push kick knockdown that ultimately secured her historic victory.

After her win, Tomar dedicated the moment to Indian fighters and MMA fans. “I want to show the world that Indian fighters are not losers. We are going all the way up! We are not going to stop! We’ll become a UFC champion soon! This win is not my win, it’s for all Indian fans and all Indian fighters. I walked out to my Indian song with the Indian flag, and I felt so proud. I had goosebumps. Inside (the Octagon), there was no pressure, I just thought, ‘I have to win’. I took two or three punches, but I’m OK. I’m going to improve myself and I’m going all the way up,” said Tomar.

Tomar follows in the footsteps of Bharat Kandare and Anshul Jubli, who both fought in the UFC but did not win their debut matches. Her victory marks a significant milestone for Indian fighters on the global stage and inspires a new generation of athletes from the country.

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