The UFC has big plans for India. Puja Tomar recently became the first female fighter from the country to sign with the promotion and she probably won’t be the last

At present Tomar and Anshul Jubli are the only Indian fighters on the rusher. According to Somesh Kamra, who describes himself as a ‘UFC Panelist’ that could all be about to change.

Khamra appears to be a pundit for UFC broadcaster Sony rather than a direct employee of the promotion itself. But he seems to have some insight into Dana White’s plans for India.

He told Inside Sport that,

“UFC is set to run an exclusive program for Indian fighters in the first quarter of 2024. We will take five fighters to go to Shanghai, where we’ll make them undergo a six-month-long program.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Somesh Kamra (@somesh.kamra)

Scouting capacity 

It isn’t clear where they will find five Indian fighters capable of competing on UFC cards. Kamra believes that after training at the Performance Institute in Shanghai they will be ready to secure a spot on the roster,

“Eventually, from there, we’ll advance those fighters either to the Dana White Contender Series or Road To UFC.”

Kamra claims to work with the UFC in a scouting capacity. The two recent additions to the roster both came from Matrix Fight Night who appear to have most of the top fighters in the country under contract.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Chamatkar Sandhu (@sandhumma)

New ground

The UFC has never held an event in India. Jubli and Pawan Maan Singh both appeared on Season 1 of Road to UFC in the lightweight tournament and while the former ended up winning the latter was knocked out in the quarter finals.

In Season 2 Sumit Kumar and Rana Rudra Pratap Singh were both eliminated in the opening round. Afterwards it was revealed that several of the wins the former was boasting on his record had come in fights which were not considered legitimate.

India has a population of 1.4 billion people and is one of the fastest growing economies in the world making it an attractive target for MMA promoters. The Super Fight League was set up at the start of the decade to take advantage of this opportunity but ultimately failed.

That clearly hasn’t put the UFC off the Indian market and it sounds like the process of scouting for the next Anshul Jubli or Puja Tomar has already begun.