Puja Tomar becomes 1st ever Indian woman to sign a UFC contract
In a historic announcement, India’s Matrix Fight Night (MFN) strawweight champion, Puja Tomar, has shattered glass ceilings in the world of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). The 28-year-old pro-MMA fighter recently revealed on her Instagram that she has secured a coveted contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), making her the first Indian woman to achieve this milestone.
Puja Tomar attributed her incredible achievement to the unwavering support of MFN and its president, Ayesha Shroff. In her Instagram post, she expressed her gratitude, saying, “Yesterday, with the blessings of @ayeshashroff and @mfn_mma, I signed my UFC contract and became the first Indian female fighter to enter the UFC.”
Hailing from Uttar Pradesh, Puja Tomar’s journey to the UFC is a testament to dedication and perseverance. A five-time national wushu champion, she embarked on her MMA career with the now-defunct Super Fight League in 2012. Her early days in MMA saw her build a formidable 3-1 record before venturing into South Asia’s leading MMA promotion, the ONE Championship, in 2017. However, the transition wasn’t without its challenges, as Puja faced a tough run, losing four of her five bouts.
Puja’s career took a significant turn when she joined the MFN in 2021. Over the course of a year, she achieved four consecutive wins and ultimately clinched the MFN strawweight title in November 2022. Her victorious moment came against a familiar opponent, Bi Nguyen, whom she had previously faced in ONE Championship. The victory marked a turning point in Puja’s career, solidifying her status as a formidable fighter in the strawweight division.
A Trailblazing Duo
Joining the ranks of India’s fighters in the UFC is Puja Tomar’s compatriot, Anshul Jubli, a lightweight star who secured a historic UFC contract in February 2023. Anshul is set to make his promotional debut at UFC 294, where he’ll go head-to-head with the USA’s Mike Breeden. Both Puja and Anshul are trailblazers, leading the charge for Indian MMA fighters on the global stage.
Puja Tomar currently hones her skills at the SOMA Fight Club in Bali, Indonesia, a facility she shares with Anshul as they prepare for their respective UFC journeys. With a combined 8-4 pro-MMA record, this dynamic duo is poised to make their mark and inspire countless aspiring fighters in India and around the world.
Puja Tomar’s remarkable ascent to the UFC serves as a beacon of hope for aspiring female fighters in India and highlights the power of determination and unwavering support in breaking through barriers. The MMA world eagerly awaits her Octagon debut, as she represents not only herself but the dreams of countless others.