Former Indian wrestler Ritu Phogat is all set to make her official mixed martial arts (MMA) debut at the One Championship on November 16th, in Beijing, China. The event is said to be broadcasted in more than 140 countries.
After shifting her focus to MMA from wrestling, Ritu had signed with a Singapore-based MMA organisation named EVOLVE MMA, which has the highest number of world champions on the planet. “I am excited to have moved to Singapore to begin my new journey in Mixed Martial Arts. My managers Birbal Sports introduced me to Evolve and convinced me that this is the future,” Phogat told earlier this year. “I have a dream of becoming India’s first-ever World Champion in Mixed Martial Arts and can’t wait to represent India on the global stage and make my nation proud,” she added.
Ritu is focussing on improving her strength, agility, and speed as she trains twice a day on different martial arts like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, wrestling and boxing. “Ritu Phogat will be competing in the 52kg Atomweight division when she debuts in the Championship,” Jason Petlueng, director of marketing at Evolve Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), had said in a PTI report in June this year.
“EVOLVE MMA aims to help develop Ritu Phogat skill set, to further enable her to realize her dream of becoming India’s first MMA World Champion,” he added. Phogat comes from a family of decorated wrestlers with sister Geeta, Babita, Sangeeta and cousin Vinesh all famous grapplers.
Her international wrestling career was short but successful. She won the gold medal at the 2016 Commonwealth Wrestling Championships in the 48kg category, which was held in Singapore. She also won the bronze medal in the 48kg category at the 2017 Asian Championships in New Delhi and then became the first Indian to win silver at the World U-23 Wrestling Championships in 2017.