Puja Tomar: The First Indian Woman to Sign a UFC Contract
Published On: 31 Oct 2023 Updated On: 07 Nov 2023
28-year-old Puja Tomar becomes the first-ever female hailing from India to represent to UFC. The reigning Matrix Fight Night (MFN) strawweight champion took to her Instagram handle to announce the landmark feat and also mentioned that the UFC contract was facilitated by the backing of MFN and its president, Ayesha Shroff. On 17 October 2023, via her Instagram post, it was confirmed that Puja will be a part of the UFC journey, which is the biggest Mixed Martial Arts promotion in the world.
MMA and WWE are the fields where mostly men are seen and it has been an arena occupied by more men than women for a long time. Women who fight inside a ring are an uncommon sight to witness, truth to be said. Fighting off all the odds and tackling the obstacles, Puja Tomar has made India proud by becoming the first-ever Indian woman and the second Indian to sign a contract with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
Here is the link to her Instagram post where she posted about her contract with UFC and her gratitude.
Meet the Incredible 5-time WUSHU Champion, Puja Tomar
Experiences are what shape and build us. While experiences are bitter, some are sweet. By conquering the odds successfully one after the other, Puja emerged as a passionate & blooming fighter as a result of her childhood. From the reports published by Scroll, Tomar had mentioned that due to situations and unfortunate events, she was forced to choose the path of MMA and not because she was invested in being one of the fighters of MMA. She mentioned, “The kind of grief I’ve experienced in life has made me tough. How my mother had to stand tall after my father passed away, the situation at home… when I look back at that, the current troubles feel very small. I strengthened myself with those thoughts.”
Tomar’s childhood was rough. She grew up in a family in Uttar Pradesh where the society and her family were dominated by Patriarchy. Puja has three siblings and one among those has a problem in her leg. Just like any other sibling or sister, this MMA fighter fought for her sister when her sister was being teased. After a while, she got inspired by the story of Jackie Chan and took a leaf out of his life. She started to practice moves and stunts mentioned in the book and soon after her focus shifted to learning martial arts.
Puja Tomar has clinched several awards in her name. She is a five-time national WUSHU or the Chinese martial arts. Along with this, she has a background in Karate and Taekwondo and won multiple medals in both streams. After a while, she became one of the most popular and recognized faces in India in mixed martial arts. In addition to this, she is the reigning Matrix Fight Night (MFN) strawweight champion.
Puja started off her MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) journey in the year 2017. Within a short period, she achieved greater heights and rose to the top as she won her first four professional fights. In 2021, she made her debut in MFN and upon defeating Ritu Phogat, she successfully claimed the title of strawweight champion.
Currently, she set a milestone in her MMA career by signing a contract with the UFC. She is an inspiring figure and a role model for all the young and aspirant fighters out there. And definitely, her success story is going to inspire a lot of women to take on sports. Tomar is expected to make her UFC debut in early 2024.
Kudos to all women out there who are fighting out the odds with bravery & courage to make a name for themselves by themselves.
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