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UP girl Puja Tomar becomes 1st Indian to win UFC bout, beats Brazil’s Rayanne dos Santos

UP girl Puja Tomar becomes 1st Indian to win UFC bout, beats Brazil’s Rayanne dos Santos

UFC fighter Puja Tomar did the unprecedented by winning a fight in the promotion, that her predecessors Anshul Jubli and Bharat Kandare couldn't do.

Indian MMA fighter Puja Tomar created history of sorts as she became first from the country to win a fight in the UFC, as she got the better of Brazil’s Rayanne dos Santos in UFC Louisville 2024 on Sunday. The 28-year-old Puja had also become the first Indian last year to secure a contract with the promotion.

The girl from Muzzafarnagar in UP won by a split decision that went in her favour, 30-27, 27-30, 29-28, in the women’s strawweight division. “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,” Puja said after the match.

“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.”

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Who is Puja Tomar, the Girl Who Won Debut Fight in UFC?

Even though Anshul Jubli and Bharat Kandare had also participated at an UFC event from India, but both of them failed in their respective fights. Prior to moving to MMA, Puja was a wushu player. In her Pro MMA career she has a win-loss record of 8-4, and had featured in promotions like Matrix Fight Night and One Championship.

Puja Tomar had a decent 3-1 record in Super Fight League, before making a switch to One Championship. But she couldn’t do much well there and lost her four out of five bouts. Thereafter, she joined MFN in 2021 and won four consecutive bouts.

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