Indian fighter Ritu Phogat recently caught up with Sportskeeda, and she revealed why she quit amateur wrestling to join the MMA world.
Ritu Phogat stated that although she had been so successful in wrestling, she had always wanted to try her luck in Mixed Martial Arts. Her target is to make India proud by becoming the nation's first MMA Champion.
In an exclusive chat with Indranil Basu on Sportskeeda's Facebook page, Ritu Phogat said since she was more interested in Mixed Martial Arts, she did not wish to dismiss the offer she received from ONE Championship. Thus, she quit amateur wrestling just one year before the Olympics.
I wanted to do the things that no one could do: Ritu Phogat explains her decision to switch to MMA
Ritu Phogat claimed the gold medal in the 2016 Commonwealth Wrestling Championships. She also finished on the podium at the World U-23 Championship and Asian Championships. The Indian fans had high expectations from her for the Tokyo Olympics, which were originally scheduled to happen in 2020.
However, in February 2019, Ritu Phogat signed with ONE Championship. She has fought two fights so far, and has won both of them. When asked about the reason behind her decision to become an MMA Artist, she answered.
"I liked watching Mixed Martial Arts because it was a different game. Since childhood, I have had that desire to do something different than what others were doing. I wanted to do the things that no one could do. I did not have much knowledge about MMA in India."
"But, when the Evolve Gym of Singapore gave me an offer to train and become an MMA artist, I got the opportunity I had been seeking for a long time. I always wondered why no Indian was dominating in this field. This thought was the main motive behind my decision to switch to MMA. I know that the people had high expectations from me with the Olympics approaching, but I could not deny the opportunity that I had been waiting for such a long period," she continued.
Ritu Phogat has been actively training in Singapore, and she will be keen on extending her undefeated record when she enters the ring next.Published 27 Sep 2020, 00:31 IST