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Jihin Radzuan says Ritu Phogat should still be in atomweight top 5  

Jihin Radzuan hails Ritu Phogat's top 5 credentials
Jihin Radzuan hails Ritu Phogat's top 5 credentials
Andrew Whitelaw

Jihin Radzuan has championed the credentials of her fellow atomweight Ritu Phogat after 'The Indian Tigress' was ousted from the top 5.

No athlete in ONE Championship competed more than Phogat in 2021. The Evolve MMA star racked up three wins and two losses, including making her way to the final of the ONE Women's Atomweight Grand Prix.

Radzaun currently holds the No.5 spot in the rankings after putting together a run of 3 victories, including beating the previously-undefeated Itsuki Hirata via split decision at ONE: X. Alyona Rassohyna occupies the No.4 spot. She fought twice in 2021 as she went 1-1 against No.1 contender, Stamp Fairtex.

Radzuan believes that Phogat has done more to deserve a top 5 ranking than Rassohyna. Speaking in an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda MMA, she said:

"For this top 5, for some fighters I quite disagree because Ritu Phogat wasn't in the top 5. She had more victories than Rassonhyna so I think she deserves to be in the top 5. Because she [Rassonhyna] fought two times with the same opponent. One win and one loss. Compared to Ritu, I think she deserves to be in the top 5."

Phogat is currently training hard in Singapore and is brushing up on her grappling skills with Brazilian jiu-jitsu prodigy Mikey Musumeci. Despite now being outside the rankings, the 27-year-old is still a big name in the division and could well be a potential future opponent for Radzuan.

That being said, 'The Shadowcat' recently named Denice Zamboanga as a preferred dance partner. The duo previously locked horns in 2019, when Zamboanga emerged victorious.

Filipino firecracker Denice Zamboanga 🇵🇭 edges out hometown hero Jihin Radzuan, securing the victory by unanimous decision! #WeAreONE #ONEChampionship #MarkOfGreatness https://t.co/MYfmGUaI1Y

Jihin Radzuan admits beating Itsuki Hirata is biggest win of her career

Jihin Radzuan's stock is currently at an all-time high. In Itsuki Hirata, she beat a fighter with a previously undefeated 5-0 record and immense popularity among the fans.

"I think it's the biggest win of my fighting career. I just beat someone who had a 5-0 record. I'm the first Malaysian to be in the top 5. It's very impressive for us. It's very important for me. After all of these tough opponents, it doesn't matter if I lose or win but I really put on a performance. Now people can see 'Shadowcat'."

With Seo Hee Ham beating Denice Zamboanga at ONE: X, the Korean looks set for the next shot at Angela Lee's title. That leaves plenty of room for some intriguing match-ups between the rest of the top 5 with Phogat also likely to be in the mix as she looks to break back into the rankings.

Watch the full Sportskeeda interview with Jihin Radzuan below:

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Edited by C. Naik

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