Puja Tomar creates history, becomes first Indian to win in UFC

India's Puja Tomar created history on June 8, Saturday as she won her debut fight in the UFC. Puja became the first Indian to win in the UFC.
Puja Tomar creates history, becomes first Indian to win in UFC
Puja Tomar creates history, becomes first Indian women to win in UFC (Image Source: IANS)

Puja Tomar made history as the first Indian to win a fight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), defeating Brazil's Rayanne dos Santos at UFC Louisville 2024. Hailing from Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh, Puja had already broken new ground last year by becoming the first Indian woman to secure a UFC contract. In her debut fight in the women's strawweight division, she triumphed by split decision with scores of 30-27, 27-30, and 29-28.

The match was a closely contested bout where both fighters showcased their strengths. Puja dominated the first round with powerful body kicks that landed cleanly on dos Santos. The Indian fighter had Dos Santos thinking twice about advancing in the fight in the first round.

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Puja Tomar creates history, becomes first Indian to win in UFC

The second round saw dos Santos taking the upper hand, constantly advancing and forcing Puja to counter while moving backwards. This round saw the Brazilian decide to adopt the same method as the Indian star and go for kicks more. She was successful in it as both women went at it. The final round was intense and evenly matched, but Puja's decisive push kick knockdown secured her the victory.

Speaking after her win, Puja dedicated the moment to the Indian fighters and MMA fans. The 'Cyclone' claimed that before her win, everyone thought the Indian fighters didn't have the right to be on a stage like the UFC.

Puja said that she wanted to show that Indian fighters aren't losers.

"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 Puja.

Puja follows in the footsteps of Bharat Kandare and Anshul Jubli, who both fought in the UFC but did not win their debut matches.

Source: India Today

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