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My dream is to give India its first-ever MMA World Champion — Ritu Phogat

My dream is to give India its first-ever MMA World Champion — Ritu Phogat

Press Releases

Published: 12 Feb 2020 3:23 PM GMT

India got its first taste of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) live today as Ritu Phogat displayed the skills at the National Sports Club of India here in the city ahead of her face-off with China’s Pro MMA fighter Wu Chiao Chen at ONE: KING OF THE JUNGLE to be held at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Friday, February 28.

The largest global sports media property in Asian history, ONE Championship (ONE) held the official ONE: KING OF THE JUNGLE Open Workout where the Indian wrestling superstar Ritu Phogat featured in an exciting workout session and interaction, discussing her successful switch to MMA from amateur wrestling.

As the daughter of the legendary wrestling coach, Mahavir Singh Phogat, Ritu became the first one to make the crossover having begun her wrestling training at the age of 8. Phogat’s selfless dedication and her ability to pick up skills quickly gifted her a sizzling debut late last year when she finished Nam Hee Kim in the first round by technical knockout to remain unbeaten at the ONE Championship.

Ritu Phogat, ONE Athlete, stated: “I was honored to showcase my skills in front of all the fans and media here in India. My career has been a fantastic one. But when I decided to make the transition to mixed martial arts, I knew the risk and the reward. As an athlete, I am open to meet any challenge head on. I am motivated to become the best mixed martial artist that I can be. Working with elite World Champions at Evolve in Singapore has really cultivated my combat skills and transformed me into a complete fighter. I know I still have a long way to go, but I’m willing to continue to put the work in until I reach my ultimate goal. My dream is to give India its first-ever mixed martial arts World Champion.”

Even before Phogat made the switch, she already had three Indian national championships titles to her credit and bagged the gold at the 2016 Commonwealth Wrestling Championships as well. The following year, she won a silver medal at the prestigious World Under-23 Wrestling Championships in Poland, becoming the first female Indian wrestler to do so in the process.

But Ritu chose to embrace MMA and promptly moved to Singapore to join the world-renowned Evolve MMA, where she currently trains with multiple Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Champions to bring her striking and submission skills up to par with her elite wrestling.

“With a rich history of combat sport across the country and the unflinching passion sports lovers have for it, Ritu Phogat’s joining the ONE Championship platform will surely help to increase the footprints of the sport in India. One Championship is a celebration of values which has helped to build heroes and bring their stories to the world. We hope to tap the potential in India and inspire more Indians to take up Mixed Martial Arts,” said Hari Vijayarajan, Chief Commercial Officer of ONE Championship.

While the 25-year-old impressed on her debut, she will now need to produce that same confidence and determination against debutante Wu in her upcoming fight. With whole of India following her, she is aiming to make the country proud by becoming India’s first mixed martial arts World Champion – a goal she hopes to attain within two years.

ONE: KING OF THE JUNGLE is scheduled for Friday, 28 February at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. In the main event, two-sport ONE World Champion Stamp Fairtex of Thailand will defend her ONE Atomweight Kickboxing World Title against Janet “J.T.” Todd of the United States.

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