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MMA fighters like us should also be considered for national sports awards — Ritu Phogat
Former Indian wrestler, who took up Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), Ritu Phogat, on Tuesday has urged the government of India to help to promote MMA in the country by suggesting that the players should also be considered for sports awards like Arjuna.
Former Indian wrestler, who took up Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), Ritu Phogat, on Tuesday has urged the government of India to help promoting MMA in the country by suggesting that the players should also be considered for sports awards like Arjuna.
The daughter of the legendary Indian wrestler Mahavir Phogat, Ritu told IANS, "We also play for our nation… we also represent India. And I am not demanding anything here for myself, but it is for the youngsters who are opting for a career in this sport."
She added, "Government should promote and support it as it is now gaining popularity among the masses. Sports awards like Arjuna would definitely help us in a big way. There should be a proper recognised body (federation) of MMA in India like other sports have. We have a lot of talent in India, who are willing to join the sport. There should be a proper telecast of our bouts also so that people can watch it."
Ritu has reached the semi-finals of the Atomic Weight Grand Prix of One Championship in Singapore. She defeated China's World No. 2 Meng Bo, who was on a seven-match undefeated streak. The 27-year-old is using her experience from wrestling to fighting MMA matches. Despite the legacy of the Phogat family and proven success at the Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, and World Championships, an Olympic medal is still has eluded them.
Ritu's cousin Vinesh Phogat, who was being hailed as a medal prospect at the Tokyo Olympics, lose out in the quarters of the Games, which raised a lot of questions among the wrestling fraternity.