Indian Mixed Martial Artist Ritu Phogat earned praise and respect from former UFC fighter Miesha Tate for her excellent victory in ONE Championship.
Ritu Phogat picked up the third straight victory of her MMA career beating Cambodia's Nou Srey Pov at ONE Championship: Inside the Matrix on Friday. Phogat stopped Pov with a ground-and-pound knockout in the second round, taking her MMA record to 3-0.
ONE Championship Vice President and former UFC Bantamweight Champion Miesha Tate called Ritu Phogat a 'little beast' for her impressive show of strength and agility in the fight.
Ritu Phogat in MMA so far
'The Indian Tigress' returned to the Octagon on Friday after eight long months. Her last fight was in March at ONE Championship: King of the Jungle, where she won via unanimous decision over former Jiu-Jitsu gold medalist, China's Chiao Chen Wu.
Before that, Ritu Phogat face Nam Hee Kim at One Championship: Age of Dragons on her MMA debut. She clinched the first-round victory via TKO (punches) over Kim, making it clear that she was here to stay.
In the Atomweight fight against Pov, it was going to be a clash between her grappling skills against her opponent's striking. She emerged victorious in the contest, owing to her strong wrestling pedigree, for which she also has a Commonwealth gold medal and a U-23 World Championship silver medal.
Ritu Phogat a step closer to ONE Championship belt
Ritu Phogat said before the fight that she was hoping a win on Friday would get her a step closer to become the first-ever MMA World Champion from India.
Following the Atomweight titleholder Angela Lee's pregnancy announcement, the belt is now vacant. The next Champion will be decided by way of an eight-person Grand Prix tournament. As a newcomer, the chances of Ritu Phogat's making it to the eight-person list is slim.
However, Friday's win might just make a strong case in her favor.
Ritu Phogat said in the post-fight interview that she was happy with the results, but would like to focus more on her ground techniques and striking skills for the upcoming bouts.
"There is still a long way to go and for my next match, I would like to improve on my striking and ground techniques to face the opponent."
Ritu Phogat missed out on many weeks of training because of Coronavirus restrictions. However, that did not show in Friday's clinical performance at all.