Indian MMA sensation Ritu Phogat is set to take on Cambodia’s Nou Srey Pov at ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX on 30th October (Singapore). Ahead of her fight, I had the pleasure of catching up with "The Indian Tigress" to discuss her regime, inspiration, goals, and more.
Check out the excerpts from the interview below.
Q. Has the Coronavirus pandemic taken a toll on your training methods as you prepared for your upcoming fight?
Yes, my training has been impacted. I have to live in Singapore all by myself and I don't have my family around me. Also, since wrestling and grappling are contact sports, I couldn't train properly either. But the situation has slightly improved and now I am training at the gym. I have been working on my striking technique as I want to prove to the world that I don't just wrestle.
Q. What's your gameplan for the upcoming fight against Nou Srey on 30th October?
It will be a challenging fight for me since she is an experienced fighter. I believe that I am prepared to take her down and look to finish the fight early. I have been working on improving my all-around game. Initially, I had a tough time trying to implement other aspects like striking and jiu-jitsu in my game but this time I believe has improved in these aspects and you will see this in my fight.
Q. How do you see the fight against Nou Srey going down?
I want to do something different this time. I'' try to knock her out and make a statement.
Q. Your fans call you ‘the female Khabib Nurmagomedov’ since you’re both have a world class ground game and are undefeated. Have you seen him fight?
Yes, I have been very motivated by him and I watch a lot of his videos. I started following Khabib in 2013 and I am inspired by him. His control on the ground is immense and I keep watching his videos to learn and improve my own game. I aspire to be like him some day.
Q. MMA is quickly growing into one of India's most popular sports. What do you think has been the driving factor behind this?
I think it is because of media coverage. Earlier, people weren't much aware of the sport but thanks to better coverage by the media, people in India are learning about mixed martial arts.
Q. Name an athlete who inspires you?
Khabib Nurmagomedov and Virat Kolhi are the two sports icons I'm inspired by.
Q. How was the experience of training at Evolve MMA in Singapore?
Some world-class fighters help me sharpen my skills. My coach and other fighters help me out and I've even bonded very well with some of them. Some have even become like my elder sisters. I am grateful for the training and guidance I've received.Published 24 Oct 2020, 12:30 IST