Indian wrestler-turned-Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter Ritu Phogat does not want her second fight in the One Championship stable to last for than three minutes. Ritu, the third sister of the reputed Phogat sisters, will face Chinese Taipei’s Wu Chiao Chen on February 28 at the One: King of the Jungle in Singapore.
Comparing her wrestling with her latest sport, Ritu says that her training since her previous bout involved more focus on striking, a skill that is completely absent in wrestling but is integral to MMA. “Yes it does help me a lot. Seven out of the top 10 fighters in MMA are those who came from a wrestling background. For me that is a big benefit,” Ritu was quoted as saying by IANS.
“You need power, speed and endurance in wrestling and MMA. The skills required are different. In wrestling skills like punching and striking are not allowed which is used in MMA,” she said.
“It is difficult to convert. But since I had the physical fitness for it from the beginning it was fine. The skills I learnt later.”
Ritu is being trained by her team-mate from the Singapore-based Evolve Mixed Martial Arts, Maira Mazar. The Brazilian said that Ritu has shown considerable improvement since she joined the MMA scene. “When she came she only knew wrestling. Now she knows how to many things. Her timing is good, she knows when to perform a takedown. Her jiu jitsu has improved a lot,” she said.
“If I punch and I see my opponent get scared, it is good but if I see that my opponent is not too affected by that, I have a problem. For grapplers it is always important to understand how to be safe. A good punch is important but if you want to hurt someone, being able to absorb punches is more important,” she said.