Who is Puja Tomar? First Indian MMA fighter to make history in UFC

Puja Tomar emerges as the “historic cyclone” for India. Learn all about the groundbreaking mixed martial artist who defeated Rayanne Amanda dos Santos of Brazil in the UFC.

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Puja tomar

Before 30-year-old mixed martial artist Puja Tomar tore up a “cyclone” at the Ultimate Fighting Championship on Saturday, June 8, Indian women had not had a chance to compete in the UFC. Her fearless and innovative attitude created opportunities that would not have been thought of otherwise.

Today, Tomar is a formidable presence on the international mixed martial arts scene. She is not only the first Indian female fighter to sign with the UFC but also the first Indian to win a UFC contest. Clearly.

At the UFC Louisville, Tomar—a native of Uttar Pradesh—overcame Brazil’s Rayanne Amanda dos Santos via split decision, writing a chapter in national history.

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On Saturday, the two athletes squared off in a frantic, exhausting three-round fight. In the end, Tomar held the advantage the entire way, defeating Santos 30-27, 27-30, 29-28.

After making Indian MMA history and wrapping up her fight, Puja Tomar said, “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!”

Who is Puja Tomar?

The UFC rookie who emerged victorious in a split decision at UFC Louisville was born in the Uttar Pradesh village of Budhana, near Muzaffarnagar. Tomar, a former national Wushu champion, has competed in exciting competitions such as One Championship and Matrix Fight Night.

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Last year, she signed a contract with the UFC. Tomar reportedly trains at the Soma Fight Club in Bali, Indonesia, solidifying her reputation as one of the top female fighters from India on the international scene.

The Muzaffarnagar native, affectionately known as “The Cyclone,” secured her incredible victory more than ten years after the UFC first allowed women to compete in the cage in 2013.

Her UFC profile also states that Tomar first took up martial arts at 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.

Tomar has accomplished the unimaginable, not just for herself, but also for Indian girls for whom the UFC legend has opened doors by revealing a route not taken.

In 2013, after competing for India in the World Wushu Championship, the MFN strawweight Champion entered the professional ranks. Her favourite striking move is the sidekick, but her favorite grappling move is the heel hook.

By Shyam
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Shyam Sharma who joined SPORTS BIG NEWS in 2021. Focuses on soccer – chiefly the Premier League, LaLiga, UEFA Champions League, Liga MX and MLS. On occasion, also covers American sports, general news and entertainment. Fascinated by the language of sport – particularly the under-appreciated art of translating cliché-speak.