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What Ritu Phogat needs to do to beat Stamp Fairtex at ONE: Winter Warriors

Ritu Phogat (left), Stamp Fairtex (right) [Photo courtesy of ONE Championship]
Ritu Phogat (left), Stamp Fairtex (right) [Photo courtesy of ONE Championship]
Atilano Diaz
ANALYST

The stakes will be high when Ritu Phogat meets Stamp Fairtex in the Circle this Friday.

The highly-anticipated ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix Championship Final comes to a head at ONE: Winter Warriors. The event is scheduled to be broadcast live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium this Friday, December 3.

Ritu Phogat is ready to pit her wrestling repertoire up against Stamp’s dangerous striking skills. The winner, of course, will earn the right to face Singaporean-American superstar ‘Unstoppable’ Angela Lee for the ONE women’s atomweight world title next year.

Absolutely anything can happen in this epic clash of styles and there are a variety of ways in which the bout could play out. One thing is for certain, fans can expect a thrilling battle.

Ritu Phogat will aim to keep her world title ambitions alive. A strong performance against Fairtex will definitely give her a boost of confidence if she were to face Lee in the future.

However, taking care of business against Stamp will be no easy task. Nevertheless, it can be done and Ritu Phogat has the tools necessary to be successful. Here are a few keys to victory for ‘The Indian Tigress’.


Ritu Phogat should time and commit to her takedowns

There is no doubt Ritu Phogat’s primary key to victory is to utilize her world-class wrestling and control the pace of the fight. The most important aspect of that game plan will be to perfectly time her takedowns and commit with precision.

Stamp's short-range weapons, such as knees and elbows from the clinch, coupled with her striking accuracy, make the Thai fighter a very dangerous enemy to deal with at close range.

Ritu Phogat must avoid Stamp’s best weapons when shooting in for her takedowns. When she does score and land them, no matter the technique, Phogat has to try her best to keep the action on the mat, which is undoubtedly Stamp’s biggest weakness.

Stamp may believe enough in her ground game to be confident challenging Ritu Phogat on the mat. However, the reality is that ‘The Indian Tigress’ is on a completely different level. Phogat’s wrestling experience and skillset is second to none in the ONE Championship atomweight division.


Side control with ground-and-pound

This is Ritu Phogat’s bread and butter technique and she needs it to be successful against Stamp. The Indian always goes for side control, at times looking for the mounted crucifix, and always lets her fists, knees and elbows fly.

The No.4-ranked atomweight is very aggressive when she gets on top of an opponent and this positioning control gives her full command of her fights. This has been very clear in her last eight bouts in the Circle.

Ritu Phogat stays so heavy on her opponents that even if she isn’t able to secure her favorite position, Stamp Fairtex will gas out struggling to prevent ‘The Indian Tigress’ from trying to do so.


It’s obvious - Avoid the stand-up game and don’t trade strikes

Almost in parallel, Ritu Phogat may be confident in her striking, but it is nowhere near the level of Stamp’s. Staying out of Stamp’s range is a must for Phogat if she wants to keep her atomweight title dreams alive.

Obviously, getting entangled in a striking battle with Stamp isn’t going to give Ritu Phogat an easy route to victory. Stamp’s main area of expertise is Muay Thai. The striker has faced several top-class strikers in her career and Ritu Phogat isn’t going to trouble the Fairtex representative in that department.

Ritu Phogat has good enough striking, but Stamp’s attacks on the feet are unmatched by anyone in the atomweight division. If ‘The Indian Tigress’ decides to trade leather, she must avoid getting hit by Stamp’s heavy kicks and venomous punches at all costs.

‘The Indian Tigress’ has fought brilliantly throughout the Grand Prix, so fans can expect her to exhibit another masterclass against Stamp. Her wrestling will be key to victory and if she can stay away from Stamp’s strikes on the feet, a triumph will certainly be within reach.


Edited by Harvey Leonard

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