5 Top Female Indian MMA Fighters that Pack a Punch

Mixed Martial Arts has grown in India, especially among women. Check out five of the top female Indian MMA fighters and their achievements.

Female Indian MMA Fighters f

“I had started beating up the boys for that."

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is still a relatively young sport since it was first broadcast in 1993. Today it is the fastest-growing sport and there are more Indian MMA fighters on the rise.

With MMA, excitement is guaranteed due to the hard-hitting nature of the combat sport.

It involves striking and grappling, which competitors use from a variety of martial art techniques that they have learned.

While boxing also offers hard-hitting excitement, MMA presents more ways to win.

Knockouts and decision wins are in both sports, but submissions are the third way to win a fight.

A submission requires a fighter to force their opponent to tap either by hyperextending a joint or by choking them.

This is something which enhances the fans’ buzz for the sport.

Martial art techniques such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai and wrestling are just a few disciplines that are incorporated into MMA.

In India, more people are getting into the sport and making a name for themselves. There are a number of female stars becoming known for their aggressive fighting style and achievements.

We look at five female Indian MMA fighters that pack a punch.

Ritu Phogat

Female Indian MMA Fighters - ritu

Ritu Phogat is one of the top Indian female MMA fighters and with her wrestling background, it is easy to see why.

The Commonwealth Gold Medallist comes from a famed family, with her father Mahavir Singh Phogat, training and leading several of her family members to the highest levels of the sport.

Phogat focused on her wrestling career but shocked the world when she decided to switch her focus to MMA.

She moved to Singapore to join the renowned Evolve MMA where she trains with world-class athletes to help round out her MMA skills.

Phogat is currently part of ONE Championship’s Strawweight division and has a record of seven wins and three losses.

At just 29, Phogat has a lot of time to improve in order to push for her ultimate goal of becoming a world champion and adding to the legacy of the famed family.

Puja Tomar

Female Indian MMA Fighters - tomar

Nicknamed ‘The Cyclone’, Puja Tomar is one of the most popular faces in Indian MMA.

Tomar grew up watching Jackie Chan films and studied his stunts, using what she learnt on boys who bullied her sister.

She recalled: “It was just us three sisters… one of my sisters had a problem in her leg and I used to get really angry when somebody troubled or teased her for it.

“I had started beating up the boys for that.

“Growing up, I used to watch films starring Jackie Chan and I thought that I could learn some things from his stunts and execute them against these boys.

“Gradually, I just moved towards martial arts then.”

A five-time national wushu champion, Tomar also has a background in karate and taekwondo and won multiple medals in both disciplines.

After putting her skills together, Tomar soon found herself in ONE Championship, however, she struggled.

She then began fighting in Matrix Fight Night and in November 2022, Tomar became the promotion’s inaugural Strawweight Champion.

Tomar successfully defended her title on July 1, 2023, taking her professional record to 8-4.

Asha Roka

Asha Roka’s journey into combat sports came through boxing, having started learning when she was 11 years old.

She soon found success on the amateur circuit, earning gold medals in the sub-junior national boxing championships in 2010, 2011, and 2012.

So it is no surprise that Roka looked up to the legendary Mary Kom.

The ‘Knockout Queen’ made her professional MMA debut in January 2017, squaring off against Angela Pink.

As soon as the bell rang, Roka dropped the American with a left hook and finished her off with some ground-and-pound in just nine seconds.

She said at the time: “That was the first fight in my professional career.

“At that time, you are full of passion and want to win at any cost. I didn’t have any idea that this game was so technical.”

Speaking about training with Puja Tomar, Roka said:

“Whenever we get time, we do train together.

“I have good punches, so I tell them about how to throw punches. Their kicks and takedowns are better, so they tell me about their techniques. They share their experience with me.”

Roka has since seen some ups and downs and her last MMA bout was a submission loss in 2022. She has returned to boxing and remains undefeated with six wins.

Manjit Kolekar

One of the most successful Indian female fighters, Manjit Kolekar is a former winner of Super Fight League (SFL) Contenders and has had a dominant run in the SFL.

Known for her aggressive fighting style, Kolekar’s record stands at 11 wins and four losses. This included a nine-fight winning streak at one time.

She won her debut but admitted being in the cage was completely different to what she thought.

Kolekar said: “Once inside the cage, it was totally different.

“I was given a good beating and was injured seriously. While in the cage, I saw my father nervously watching me fight.”

In 2016, Mumbai-based Kolekar became the first Indian to fight in the Invicta Fighting Championship (Invicta FC), which is the leading women’s MMA organisation.

She fought Brazilian veteran Kaline Medeiros at Invicta FC 19. She lost the fight by a unanimous decision, having fought with an injured hand.

Although she lost the fight, Kolekar’s fanbase increased due to her courageous effort.

Her last fight came in 2019, suffering a doctor stoppage loss to Samin Kamal Beik.

Priyanka Jeet Toshi

Priyanka Jeet Toshi was born in Delhi but is based in Bahrain.

She is somewhat of a pioneer for Indian MMA because in 2012, she became the first female MMA fighter to represent India at ONE Championship.

Toshi began taking part in kickboxing competitions when she was 16.

Her MMA debut came after a family friend offered her a fight, which she won. Toshi then found herself in ONE Championship.

Toshi highlighted the difficulties for Indian fighters. She said:

“In India, it’s an uphill battle for the fighters to make it at the professional level mainly due to the lack of adequate financial support and standard training.

“This made me shift to Bahrain in 2013.

“Since I have no sponsor, I have to find work for living and for supporting my travel and training expenses.

“I am working as a personal trainer at a UFC gym (in Bahrain). I need to earn enough to get a good gym for training as the opponents in ONE Championship are highly trained and have internationally renowned rankings.

“I love doing what I do. It keeps me moving forward even in the face of obstacles. I know what I want and I’ll get there.”

“There are challenges but should that stop me from dreaming? The best thing about having dreams is when you make them a reality!”

Toshi has a professional record of 4-4, with her last fight being a loss in February 2022.

These fighters are forging their own journeys and are proving that they can compete like their male Indian counterparts.

As the sport continues to grow, there is a wide scope for female MMA fighters in India. Confidence comes from family support and a sense of belief to conquer.

The aforementioned Indian female MMA fighters are inspiring and empowering others, along with training beginners.

With the platform being there, India has the potential to keep nurturing future talent.

Dhiren is a journalism graduate with a passion for gaming, watching films and sports. He also enjoys cooking from time to time. His motto is to “Live life one day at a time.”

  • What's New



  • Polls

    Do you use Ayurvedic beauty products?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...
  • Share to...