“Namaste UFC... we have arrived!"
Anshul Jubli defeated Jeka Saragih by TKO and made history by becoming the first Indian-born MMA fighter to win in the UFC.
The fighter from Uttarakhand had been in the lightweight final of Road to UFC, an event series in which top Asian MMA prospects compete in a tournament to win UFC contracts.
The tournament final was part of UFC Vegas 68, which was headlined by heavyweights Derrick Lewis and Sergey Spivak.
Jubli entered the fight as the underdog and there seemed to be some bad blood between him and his opponent following the tense pre-fight staredown.
The first round began with Saragih trying to agitate Jubli.
But Jubli did not seem fazed and launched an attack before securing a takedown.
He controlled Saragih whilst hitting him with short punches. Saragih tried to escape by attacking with elbows, to no avail.
Saragih eventually managed to get back to his feet but Jubli had firmly won the round.
The second round began with Saragih showing some urgency, landing a body kick.
But Jubli quickly closed the distance and landed some close shots. He then took his opponent down and began landing a series of punches.
Saragih had no answer for the Indian’s offence and the referee called a stop to the bout.
Anshul Jubli’s win earned him a UFC contract, making him the second Indian-born fight to enter the MMA promotion after Bharat Khandare.
But it also made him the first Indian to get a UFC victory.
In his post-fight interview, Jubli said:
“Namaste UFC… we have arrived!
“India is here! Captain India is here. We have arrived and we are not stopping here, we are going all the way to the top.
“See, what we have just done. First-ever road to UFC lightweight winner from the Himalayas of Uttrakhand, from the great country India.”
Speaking about his strategy, Jubli said:
“The game plan was to keep the distance, hurt him in the ground and dominate.”
“And that’s exactly what we’ve done, we’ve dominated this fight, and we’ve proved why we are here, why Indian fighters deserve to win the UFC, and I’m gonna keep evolving, keep grinding, and my plan is to be one of the best in the world, and I will do whatever it needs to be done.
“It is very important. Our Indian MMA community has really worked hard to send a boy into this promotion (UFC) to represent India.
“They have done a great job and I’m gonna make them proud.”
In addition to the UFC contract, Anshul Jubli’s dominant win also earned him a $50,000 performance bonus.
Anshul Jubli’s win takes him to a 7-0 record.
He will enter the lightweight division, which has been long regarded as the UFC’s toughest weight class, opening up the prospect for some big-name fights in the future.