RITU PHOGAT IS ABOUT TO make her professional debut in Mixed Martial Arts in "ONE Championship : Age of Dragons" next week; a first step on what she calls her mission to become the first Indian MMA world champion.
In a recent video published by the promotion, she lays out why she chose to enter MMA and how her family reacted to her decision. You can watch the video here...
Ritu joined Evolve MMA in Singapore earlier this year; which is considered to be one of the best in the continent. Roshan Mainam, another Indian athlete from the very same gym, put on a dominant performance yesterday submitting his opponent in the first round.
For her first bout, Ritu will face a tough challenge against Nam Hee Kim from South Korea, whose jiu-jiutsu credentials are a good foil for Ritu's world class wrestling. If the fight proves to be even on the ground, Ritu may have to depend on her striking to get an edge; an art she has been mastering for less than a year, albeit with some of the best trainers and partners she could get.
Either way, Ritu's vast experience in wrestling has positioned her as a strong contender in the ONE Championship's Atomweight division which so far has been dominated by kickboxing and muay thai veterans.
With Ritu putting everything on the line and stepping way out of her comfort zone, "ONE Championship: Age of Dragons" looks set to be a very interesting card, featuring a fight that can become the catalyst that causes Indian MMA to break into mainstream popularity, helmed by a celebrated sporting superstar.