Updated June 9th, 2024 at 13:29 IST

'Indian fighters are not losers': MMA fighter Puja Tomar roars after win at UFC debut

As the first Indian mixed martial arts competitor to win a match at UFC Fight Night in Louisville, Puja Tomar made history. In the strawweight match, Tomar narrowly defeated Brazil's Rayanne dos Santos by split decision, 30–27, 27–30, 29–28.

Puja Tomar | Image: X/@UFCNews
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India's Puja Tomar scripted history as she became the first mixed martial arts fighter from the country to win a bout at the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in UFC Louisville here.

Debutant Tomar eked out a 30-27, 27-30, 29-28 split-decision win over Brazil's Rayanne dos Santos in the straw-weight (52kg) bout on Saturday.

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"This win is not my win. This win is for all Indian fans and all Indian fighters. before everyone thought that Indian fighters did not stand anywhere. I only thought I have to win and show the world that Indian fighters are not losers," Tomar told Sony Sport Network after her win.

The 30-year-old, known as "cyclone", signed a contract with the UFC last year in October to become the first woman from India to compete in the biggest Mixed Martial Arts promotion.

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Anshul Jubli and Bharat Kandare have represented India on the world stage in the UFC, as has Canada-based Arjan Singh Bhullar.

"I feel great, I had come from home thinking that I will win. I have worked really hard that's why I am here and the crowd is cheering me. I was very strong and motivated so that's why I won." Born in Budhana village of Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar, Tomar is a five-time national wushu champion and also has a background in karate and taekwondo.

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"I was confident of winning, I attacked a lot. But I wasn't able to give my 100 percent. I felt pressured in the second round. I need to improve on a lot of skills like take downs.

"My MMA journey was not easy, this win is for my mother, she has fought with the world for me. So this win is for her." She has competed in other tournaments including Matrix Fight Night, where she won the straw-weight title twice.

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MMA is a full-contact combat sport based on striking, grappling and ground fighting, incorporating techniques from various combat sports from around the world Ultimate Fighting Championship is an American mixed martial arts promotion company.

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Published June 9th, 2024 at 13:29 IST