I want to become India’s first ever women’s MMA champion: Ritu Phogat
It has been an eventful year for Rity Phogat. The Commonwealth Games gold medalist decided to shift from wrestling to Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and she registered her first win after beating Nam Hee Kim at ONE Championship: Age Of Dragons in November 2019. It is a new experience for the wrestler and she wants to become te first ever women’s MMA champion from India.
“To become India’s first ever women’s MMA champion. There is no one from our country at the global stage in MMA, and I totally believe that India has what it takes to produce a World Champion,” Phogat told Times of India.
It was an easy victory for Phogat as she immediately scored on a takedown against Nam Hee Kim in the opening seconds of the bout. She executed another successful takedown moments later, this time keeping Kim on the mat and proceeding to cause damage with ground-and-pound. After securing the mounted crucifix position, Phogat pounded Kim out until the referee intervened.
“Winning is always good, but to be honest I was a bit nervous in the beginning as it was my first-ever official MMA match. The support I received during the match was simply awesome. I was not thinking about winning or losing, I just wanted to do well. I had confidence in my abilities and in the end it all worked out well,” she said.
Ritu, who hails from the hallowed Phogat family known for their excellence in wrestling, also revealed how her family helped in preparation ahead of the fight.
I spoke with them before and after the match. They all were very happy. Geeta was actually scared looking at the previous match which was a high intensity MMA bout and finished quickly with a TKO. But then she saw me enter the MMA ring for the first time. She was confident of a good show. My father has always been supportive and always asked me to give my best for the country. I promised him that I will give my 100 percent.