"Nice meeting you champ" - Ritu Phogat trains with UFC titleholder Valentina Shevchenko

Ritu Phogat (left) [Photo Credit: ONE Championship] and Valentina Shevchenko (right)
Ritu Phogat (left) [Photo Credit: ONE Championship] and Valentina Shevchenko (right)

'The Indian Tigress' Ritu Phogat recently posted a picture of herself on Instagram with current UFC women's flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko.

In the caption, Phogat wrote:

"Good luck for your match @bulletvalentina ... you not just a wonderful fighter but a friendly person too... it was nice meeting you champ"

Shevchenko is currently at the tail end of her training camp for an upcoming bout against Taila Santos at UFC 275 in Singapore.

In 2018, Shevchenko captured UFC gold by defeating Joanna Jędrzejczyk at UFC 231. Since that night, 'Bullet' has yet to faulter. She has successfully defended her title six times and hopes to make Santos the seventh victim of her reign when they clash at the Singapore Indoor Stadium next weekend.

In fact, the only losses in Shevchenko's UFC career came against the same woman: Amanda Nunes. The 'Lioness' recorded a decisive victory in their first bout at UFC 196. However, their rematch received a lot of scrutiny after Nunes was awarded a close split decision, a verdict that 'Bullet' disagreed with.

With Shevchenko on the cusp of clearing out the flyweight division, talk of a trilogy bout with Nunes is starting to heat up. Of course, the Brazilian will first need to focus on her second fight with Julianna Pena. The highly-anticipated rematch is scheduled for UFC 277 on July 30.

Ritu Phogat says she will "come back strong" after shocking submission loss to Stamp Fairtex

Some considered Ritu Phogat to be the favorite in the ONE women's atomweight Grand Prix tournament. Her background as a member of wrestling royalty has been on display since her ONE Championship debut in 2019.

Blowing through Bo Meng and Jenelyn Olsim in the quarter and semi-finals, it seemed like 'The Indian Tigress' had a date with a destiny named Angela Lee. Unfortunately for Phogat, that was not the case.

She was submitted in the second round of her Grand Prix Championship bout against fan favorite Stamp Fairtex. In her post-fight interview, Ritu Phogat had this to say after the loss:

"I want to share that this is not the end. I tried my best. I will come back stronger. Today is her day and not my day."

Catch Phogat's comments in the video below:


Phogat has not announced her return to the ONE circle as of yet. Fans are eagerly anticipating her next bout and are interested in seeing how 'The Indian Tigress' will respond to the first major setback of her mixed martial arts career.

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Edited by Harvey Leonard
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