Ritu Phogat goals to mix putting and wrestling in opposition to Bi Nguyen as essential 2021 calendar starts-Sports activities Information , Novi Reporter
Recognized for her grappling energy, Ritu Phogat goals to steadiness it with putting in opposition to Vietnamese-American Bi Nguyen at One: Dangal.
It was in 2019 that Ritu Phogat surprised everybody together with her choice to give up wrestling in favour of combined martial arts (MMA). Hailing from the famend Phogat household, who had their well-liked and galvanizing story operating in theatres close to us in 2016 with the film Dangal, Ritu was anticipated to observe in her elder sister Geeta and Babita’s footsteps.
However ‘The Indian Tigress’ had different concepts. Geeta and Babita made India proud on the wrestling mats of the Commonwealth Video games, the Khabib Nurmagomedov-inspired Ritu desires to do it in an MMA ring.
Her journey has been to this point so good. In 2019, Ritu defeated Kim Nam-hee within the first spherical of the atom-weight (52 kg) contest on the One Championship occasion. In 2020, she gained all three bouts. The honeymoon interval, if there’s any in a sport the place fighters spit blood after receiving punches and bruises keep recent lengthy sufficient to remind them in regards to the beating they endure, is about to recover from for the Indian.
Ritu has been named as one of many eight opponents for the ONE Atomweight World Grand Prix which kicks off on 28 Could. The winner of the Grand Prix will earn the appropriate to problem reigning world champion Angela Lee in November this 12 months for the title. Issues are going to get very critical in 2021 and Ritu is the least skilled within the group of the eight fighters.
Thankfully, she has a useful alternative upcoming to soar her expertise and develop her confidence. However for that, she has to battle a ‘Dangal’ of her personal. On 15 Could, Ritu is scheduled to tackle Vietnamese-American Bi ‘Killer Bee’ Nguyen at One: Dangal.
“I need to begin this new 12 months with a win. I’ll attempt my finest to reside as much as the expectations of my followers,” Ritu instructed Indian media throughout a digital interplay from Singapore.
Can undefeated atomweight phenom Ritu Phogat safe her FIFTH successive victory contained in the Circle in opposition to Bi Nguyen at ONE: DANGAL? 💪 @PhogatRitu #ONEDangal #WeAreONE #ONEChampionship pic.twitter.com/sxbTwVjAMy
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) May 7, 2021
Not like Ritu, Nguyen will take the ring on Saturday on the again of three consecutive defeats. Nevertheless, the 31-year-old fighter has a protracted historical past of MMA and Muay Thai. An skilled on the “artwork of eight limbs”, Nguyen made her novice MMA debut in 2014 and turned skilled in 2016.
Given her expertise of martial arts, Nguyen has a robust stand-up recreation the place she seems to put on down her opponents with the continual hammering of punches and kicks.
Ritu, given her lengthy affiliation with wrestling, has a robust grappling recreation the place she prefers taking down her rivals as quickly as attainable earlier than bringing down ending punches on them. However this transition from putting to takedown is the place the opponent might sniff a possibility. The dearth of sting in putting might permit Nguyen to dictate phrases early.
However the 27-year-old Indian will not be flustered in regards to the attainable challenges. Although she reveals little or no about her recreation plan for the upcoming bout, she is assured her wrestling heritage will assist her trump Nguyen.
“Bi Nguyen is extra skilled than me and her standing recreation is healthier than mine. However I’ve confidence in my coaching,” says the 2016 Commonwealth Wrestling Championship gold medallist. “You will notice within the match how wrestling overpowers putting. I’ll attempt to take full benefit of my energy that’s wrestling.”
And if it is not sufficient, Ritu will hope her putting, one thing on which she has labored commonly at Evolve MMA the martial arts academy, withstands the Nguyen check.
“In atom-weight, no fighter has a solution to my wrestling however I’ll wish to have a mixture of putting and wrestling within the upcoming match,” says Ritu.
“The fifteenth Could battle goes to be very thrilling as a result of a top-level puncher and a top-level wrestler are going to collide.”
Unbeaten in 4 bouts to this point, Ritu may even be defending her good report in opposition to Nguyen, however that has had no bearing on her psyche.
“I do not take any stress as a result of I’m undefeated. I prepare and provides my 110 p.c within the ring. And I need to proceed my unbeaten streak,” she added.
Psychological toughness is one other side of Ritu which has enhanced since she made the swap to MMA. Her dream to win a world title in MMA and the pursuit of it took her away from dwelling to Singapore. The COVID-19 pandemic then made the gap between household and her a lot wider. On account of visa restrictions and strict quarantine guidelines, Ritu hasn’t been in a position to go to dwelling since February final 12 months.
“The final time I visited India was in February final 12 months and after that lockdown was applied right here. I’m mentally very robust however the lockdown has made me stronger as a result of I missed so many issues, I missed my sister’s wedding ceremony, my different sister had a toddler, so this stuff have made me stronger mentally,” says Ritu.
“Every time I communicate to my Papa on the telephone, he offers me lots of motivation. He all the time tells me to remember the rationale for which I’ve come right here (Singapore). In order that’s all the time in my thoughts.”
The largest night time of martial arts in India’s historical past goes down THIS SATURDAY at ONE: DANGAL! 🇮🇳 @Verafied @TheOneASB @killerbeemma @PhogatRitu @ayk917m @saintlion #ONEDangal #WeAreONE #ONEChampionship pic.twitter.com/OLZlZ3tEV0
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) May 10, 2021
The One: Dangal has a particular give attention to Indian MMA fighters. Aside from Ritu, India’s Arjan Bhullar will battle for the belt in opposition to One heavyweight world Champion Brandon Vera. India’s Roshan Mainam will tackle Canadian-Indian Gurdarshan Mangat.
“Everyone has educated effectively, they’re right here to win, So I’m assured they’ll give their finest. Arjan Singh Bhullar goes to battle for the belt, so the entire of India is hoping he’ll win the belt and I’m additionally very assured,” added the previous wrestler.
Whereas Ritu prepares for an additional punishing MMA bout, India is experiencing the second wave of the lethal coronavirus .
“It is a tough interval however we have to keep robust. This may even go, do not lose your coronary heart. All the pieces will change into regular, so we have to keep optimistic. Keep secure, keep at dwelling,” stated Ritu.
Amid the pandemic, Ritu solely has phrases of consolation to supply but when she wins her upcoming bout she would be capable of provide one thing to rejoice to her fellow Indians.
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