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

Louisville: Mixed martial arts athlete, Puja “The Cyclone” Tomar, made her UFC debut as India’s first female fighter in UFC, and scored a victory to make history by becoming the first Indian fighter to register a win inside the UFC octagon.

Tomar who hails from Uttar Pradesh, faced Rayanne dos Santos at strawweight in the very first bout of the card. She and dos Santos went all three rounds: 15 minutes of grueling, fast-paced back-and-forth action.

“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 following her historic victory.

Santos used her height advantage and range to dictate the action, but Tomar went kicking and screaming to the final bell, causing damage in the process. When the scorecards were read, Tomar picked up a split decision win (30-27, 27-30, 29-28).

“Puja Tomar is a pioneer for women’s MMA in India, and her win made history. India has a long-standing tradition of women excelling in combat sports, and UFC has been a platform for women to shine since 2013, so Puja’s debut shows how far the UFC has come as a sport. We are looking forward to Puja continuing to put on amazing performances as she represents India,” added Kevin Chang, UFC Senior Vice President and Head of Asia.


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