Puja Tomar: India’s Cyclone Makes History in the UFC

Puja Tomar, UFC, MMA, Ultimate Fighting Championship

India’s ultimate fighter Puja Tomar won her first UFC bout. She is the first Indian MMA fighter to win a match at the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) organization. 

Puja Tomar, also known as Cyclone, fought in the straw-weight division (52kg) in her first fight with Brazilian fighter Rayanne dos Santos in the UFC. This was an excellent bout and it was narrowly won by Puja. After the close bout, which lasted 40 minutes, the judges were able to give Tomar a split decision win with the scores being 30-27, 27-30, and 29-28.

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It has been a victory for everyone who enjoys and supports any kind of Indian martial arts and budding fighters. In recent years, there hasn’t been a lot of polished Indian fighters to make their mark on the map of Mixed Martial Arts around the world. Tomar’s victory disproves this belief and plays an inspiring role as a representation that Indian fighters are capable of operating at the international stage.

Hailing from Budhana village, Uttar Pradesh, Puja Tomar has fine-tuned her abilities in several disciplines related to martial arts such as wushu [a Chinese style of martial arts], karate, and taekwondo. They were her abilities and hard work that propelled the woman to become the multi-time wushu national titleholder.

Before getting a shot at the UFC roster, Puja Tomar had fought for other organizations such as Matrix Fight Night where she indeed befriended the canvas by becoming the promotional straw-weight champion twice. These experiences prepared her for the biggest stage in MMA.

However, in the interview with Tomar while featuring on the Discovery Network, she accepts that there was tough time at some point in her struggle. During the events of UFC, she confesses she was unable to unleash herself and experienced stress in the second round of the fight. However, she did not give up and make excuses like other people would; rather, she continued to fight for victory, and her fighting spirit triumphed.

Puja Tomar reserves this win to her mother, she has been the biggest supporter of her gymnastic stints. She also insists that her mother “overcame the world” for her and that her struggle is evident in what her family has been through. To those rooting for them, this victory is proof of their faith in her together with the time invested in preparing and rehearsing.

The acquisition of the long-awaited win by Puja Tomar underlines the beginning of a new era for Indian MMA. It motivates budding fighters and gives a glimpse into the greater possibilities of Indian athletes in the MMA combat sports leagues. Tomar’s case is one of the best examples that show individuals how dedication, hard work, and faith can indeed make every dream become a reality.