Wrestler-turned-MMA fighter Ritu Phogat continues to enhance her reputation in Mixed Martial Arts as she defeated Wu Chiao Chen of China at the ‘ONE: KING OF THE JUNGLE’ at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Friday. Due to the Coronavirus outbreak and fear around the deadly disease, the ‘King of the Jungle’ event at the One Championship was held indoors and was played to empty galleries. Also Read - Wrestling: Bajrang Punia Assured of Seeding at Tokyo Olympics, Claims No.2 Spot in Latest World Rankings
The Chinese, who has an 8-0 record as an amateur in MMA and has been a former JJIF Asian Jiu-Jitsu Championship gold medallist, was no match for the determined Indian in a heavily one-sided women’s atomweight contest. “Winning my second match at ONE Championship has been a very good feeling and my confidence level has been boosted further,” said Phogat after her win. Also Read - Vinesh Phogat Reacts on Tokyo Olympics 2020 Postponement, Says 'Every Athlete's Worst Fear Has Come True'
“I would like to thank my coaches and my Indian supporters for watching. My goal of becoming India’s first MMA world champion is still a long way away but I will keep working with a lot of dedication to reach that.” Also Read - Wrestling: Sakshi Malik Fails to Make Cut For Tokyo Olympics 2020, Loses to Young Sonam Malik by Fall
Phogat controlled each of the three rounds by using her power and strength to force early takedowns of her opponent and kept her pinned to the ground.
Wu tried hard to challenge the Indian in the second round but Phogat proved too strong in the grappling exchanges and did not give her opponent any chance to defend.
The final round saw the Indian at her aggressive best as she kept landing deadly blows on Wu to be unanimously declared the winner by all the three judges present.
Phogat’s victory follows a sizzling debut last year where she finished Nam Hee Kim in the first round by technical knockout.
The daughter of the legendary wrestling coach Mahavir Singh, Phogat bagged the gold at the 2016 Commonwealth Wrestling Championships and a silver at the World Under-23 Wrestling Championships before making a smooth transition to the mixed martial arts.
Training with multiple Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Champions in Singapore has helped the 25-year-old up her striking and submission skills and she hopes that her success will inspire more Indians to follow her path.
“I am thrilled to be representing India in MMA now. This is a growing sport and I foresee that it will be huge in India real soon,” said Phogat.
(With PTI Inputs)