Puja “The Cyclone” Tomar is gearing up for the most important bout of her mixed martial arts career.
On Friday, 10 January, the Indian will kick off ONE Championship’s 2019 calendar of events inside the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.
“Right now, I have a lot of pressure on me because it is the biggest fight of my life,” the 26-year-old Muzaffarnagar, India resident acknowledges.
“Stamp Fairtex is a two-sport ONE World Champion in Muay Thai and kickboxing, so naturally, it is going to be tough.
“Sometimes, I see lots of negative things [said about me regarding this bout] on social media, but I try to take it in a positive way. Therefore, I feel that I am going to do great.”
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Tomar, a multiple-time Indian Wushu Champion, has reason to feel confident about her chances in the Thai capital.
After a rough start to life in The Home Of Martial Arts, “The Cyclone” made a major breakthrough in her career.
This past January, she went the distance with beloved contender Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol on her home turf in Jakarta, Indonesia, where she used her counter-striking and grappling to earn a split-decision victory.
It will be a familiar scenario for Tomar, who will challenge another local hero in-front of a home crowd. And, from the sounds of it, she may utilize a similar game plan against the two-division ONE World Champion.
“My willpower is my strength. I never give up, and I never leave anything unfinished. Whatever I do, I give 100 percent,” she offers. “I am training a lot in wushu and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I am trying to get better every day.”
Puja Tomar scores a massive split-decision win over a game Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol! ????????Watch the full event LIVE & FREE on the ONE Super App ???? http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast
Posted by ONE Championship on Saturday, 19 January 2019
The same could be said about the 22-year-old Fairtex representative, who is continuing her quest for three-sport ONE World Title gold.
Stamp originally launched her mixed martial arts career in July 2018, when she knocked out Tomar’s compatriot Rashi Shinde via head kick in 19 seconds at ONE Warrior Series 2.
Following that dazzling highlight-reel moment, she put her mixed martial arts career on hold to compete in ONE Super Series, where she picked up the ONE Atomweight Kickboxing and Muay Thai World Championships.
With two new belts draped over her shoulders, the Thai superstar returned to the all-encompassing sport in the second half of 2019 and has looked phenomenal.
Tomar has studied the Pattaya native very closely. She is impressed with her opponent’s skill set, but sees a few areas where the two-sport ONE World Champion could be vulnerable.
“Stamp is really good in Muay Thai. Her striking is powerful. Her clinch is really strong as well, and do not forget about her kickboxing background,” the Indian says.
“She uses the roundhouse kick frequently, so I could catch that and try to go for a takedown. She punches a lot as well, so I would like to defend that and keep her on the ground.”
Ruining Stamp’s perfect mixed martial arts record would certainly be a feather in her cap and move her up the women’s atomweight ranks, but Tomar is motivated by something else.
For “The Cyclone,” it is all about elevating awareness for the sport in her homeland, and getting a high-profile victory would only add steam to the country’s growing movement.
“The last time I won a mixed martial arts match, people in India started noticing that there is someone from their country in this sport, and she’s winning, too,” Tomar explains.
“If I win this match, I think even more people will know about mixed martial arts here. I would like to tell the Indian fans that I am working really hard, and I will give my best.”