Puja Tomar scripts history, becomes first Indian MMA fighter to win at UFC. Who is she?

Puja Tomar, also being called the “The Cyclone”, became the first Indian to win at the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) on Saturday (June 8). The 30-year-old MMA fighter scripted history in her debut with a roaring win over Brazil’s Amanda dos Santos. Tomar’s win not only made India proud but will also open up avenues that no one thought possible earlier.

“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!” said Tomar after her win.

Earlier, she made history by becoming the first-ever Indian female fighter to sign up with UFC, and then went on to win her first bout in UFC.

Both Tomar and Santos went head-to-head in a fast-paced three-round bout on Saturday, but Tomar had a dominating run at the event, beating Santos 30-27, 27-30, 29-28. Santos lost to Tomar by split decision at UFC Louisville.

Meet Puja Tomar, the first Indian MMA fighter to script history at UFC

Puja Tomar hails from Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh and has been a former national Wushu champion. She has participated in several other action-packed leagues as well, including Matrix Fight Night and One Championship.

Tomar secured her UFC contract last year and reportedly trained at the Soma Fight Club in Bali, Indonesia. She is fondly addressed at “The Cyclone” for fiercely proving her stance as one of the best women fighters in India on the world stage. 

Her UFC profile states that Tomar first took up martial arts at age 12 when she lost her father. “I just wanted to protect my family after my father passed away. So I started to learn karate and kickboxing, and after that, I think I can make my career in martial arts,” she said.

Following her victory, Tomar said her mother always supported her in the journey and the debutant whole-heartedly follows her mother’s three-word advice, “Puja, just fight.”

Having represented India in the World Wushu Championship, the MFN Strawweight Champion went pro in 2013. Her favourite grappling technique is the Heel Hook, whereas her most preferred striking technique is the Side Kick.

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