For Ritu Phogat, a setback is a setup for a stronger comeback. 'The Indian Tigress’ may have stumbled in her last fight, but it only made her hungrier than ever before to get back on the winning track.
Following a lengthy hiatus due to an injury, the 28-year-old wrestling sensation is eager to give Tiffany Teo a rude welcome in the women’s atomweight ranks.
Phogat and Teo are scheduled to lock horns on the main card of ONE 161: Petchmorakot vs. Tawanchai on September 29 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Speaking to ONE Championship ahead of her return to the circle, Phogat discussed the magnitude of her upcoming bout and what it means for her career moving forward.
The Evolve MMA representative shared:
“Every fight is important for me, but this is even more crucial because I suffered a loss in my last match, and then I got injured too. My opponent is an experienced athlete. I am looking forward to this fight and want to make a good comeback.”
Ritu Phogat, a Commonwealth Games gold medalist, started off her MMA career with guns blazing, racking up seven wins in her first eight fights.
She entered the ONE women’s atomweight world grand prix and ran through Meng Bo and Jenelyn Olsim using her superior wrestling skills.
'The Indian Tigress' fought the toughest challenge of her MMA career next, as she set up a date with former ONE two-sport world champion Stamp Fairtex for the grand prix championship.
Ritu Phogat was able to control the fight early on by landing her signature takedowns. However, Stamp caught her off guard with her improved ground skills as she locked up a tight armbar to finish the fight in the second round.
Watch the full bout below:
Making matters worse was the fact that Phogat reaggravated an old shoulder injury from her amateur wrestling days, which sidelined her indefinitely.
Now back to a hundred percent, the women’s atomweight world grand prix runner-up would love to take all her frustrations out on Teo.
Ritu Phogat wants to showcase her improved striking game versus Tiffany Teo
Ritu Phogat carries a reputation for being one of the most fearsome wrestlers in the women’s division.
Her superb grappling skills stand out every time she fights, while her ever-improving stand-up game usually takes a backseat. ‘The Indian Tigress’ does own knockout victories against the likes of Nam Hee Kim, Nou Srey Pov, and Jomary Torres early in her career.
While wrestling will always be her bread and butter, Phogat said she'll also be ready to stand and bang against Teo.
She told ONE:
“I have tried to improve my striking in the last three-to-four months, and I will try my best to showcase my boxing and striking against her. I want to knock her out and show the world that they have seen my wrestling and ground game, but I can finish by striking too.”