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  • Writer's pictureChris Presnell

First! Puja Tomar takes split in entertaining battle with dos Santos

Puja Tomar

Puja Tomar has made history by becoming the first Indian fighter to win in the UFC Octagon, winning a split decision over Rayanne dos Santos at UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs. Imavov.

The judges scored the fight 30-27, 27-30, and 29-28 for the Indian.

The fight started with the two fighters trading on the feet, with dos Santos right away utilizing her range. The kicks were flowing from all angles for Tomar- launching sidekicks to the body and head kicks upstairs- and barely inching ahead in overall volume. By the end of the round, the distance on the combinations started to come together for Rayanne dos Santos, but the total strike output between the two was near even.

The second round saw the two fighters trading kick for-kick from the opening bell, with Tomar landing the sidekick to the body once again. With a reach of only fifty-nine inches, Puja Tomar was clearly struggling to get in range of her longer Brazilian opponent. At halfway through the round, it was dos Santos that was leading the dance, typically getting the final blow on exchanges of combinations.

With the scorecards anyone's guess after two, Puja Tomar came out in round three continuing her barrage of kicks. At ninety seconds in, dos Santos finally pushed Tomar to the cage to try to get the fight to the mat. However, the takedown defense of Tomar held up, and she was able to circle out. Halfway through the round, Tomar seemed to wake up and the strikes starting flowing with more power- although she did eat a clean right hook from dos Santos along the way. In response, she knocked dos Santos to the ground with a potent sidekick to the body.

Eith the round winding down, dos Santos started to load up on the right hand, dropping her head down and lunging at Tomar. Although potentially behind on striking totals, with a minute left, a fired-up Tomar started yelling at Rayanne dos Santos to engage in a firefight to the last bell.

With the win, Puja Tomar joins her teammate at Soma Fight Anshul Jubli as the only two fighters from India in the UFC.


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