When Indian MMA star Puja Tomar stepped out to face off against her Russian opponent Anastasia Feofanova to defend her strawweight title on Saturday night, the 9000 fans present inside the Noida Indoor Stadium cheered for her at the top of their voices.
When she won the bout defeating Anastasia via TKO, the crowd lost their minds. The atmosphere during Matrix Fight Night 12 was unparalleled, with 11 entertaining bouts enticing the crowd with intense and thrilling action.
Enjoying the MMA show among the crowd was Indian cricket star Shikhar Dhawan, who was thoroughly amazed to see the Indian fighters putting on a fantastic show inside the cage.
"It was so great to watch these fighters compete inside the cage. It was really entertaining. I want to congratulate MFN for hosting their 12th edition successfully. It is lovely to see real fighting. It is quite an intense sport and it is now really growing in India," Shikhar Dhawan said on the sidelines of MFN 12.
Dhawan believes the MMA has a great potential in India and the first step of creating awareness about the sport is already being fulfilled by MFN.
"Of course, MMA is going to grow even further in India. It was just about creating awareness in India - now as people are becoming aware about the sport. The audience is realising that it is an extremely entertaining sport and it has a great future," Dhawan said.
The Indian batsman also praised the co-founders Ms Ayesha Shroff and Ms Krishna Shroff for providing a platform for the MMA fighters in India and creating opportunities for them.
"It's great to see such a strong backing of MMA in India. MFN is giving Indian fighters a chance and offering them a great platform to showcase their skills," Dhawan signed off.