There is nothing more exciting in the MMA world than to watch a favorite prospect get back in the octagon. This Friday, December 4, in ONE: Big Bang, wrestling gold medalist Ritu “The Indian Tigress” Phogat makes her return just a month after a big win at the ONE: Inside the Matrix event.
Ritu Phogat brings the banner of her country as she quickly rises in the ONE Women’s Atomweight rankings. The undefeated phenom has already collected three wins in just over a year since the start of her career. Here are four reasons why fight fans should be excited about Ritu Phogat’s return in ONE: Big Bang!
Toughest Challenge On Her Young Career
Ritu Phogat is a dominant wrestler who arguably got the best control in the women’s Atomweight division. In all of her fights, we have seen Ritu dominate her opponents with her relentless chain wrestling and ground and pound. However, the opponents that she faced before were pure strikers. Her upcoming opponent, Jomary Torres will be her first foe who actually has a respectable background in the ground game.
Jomary “The Zamboanginian Fighter” Torres also faced a similar tale as what Ritu Phogat has now. Jomary was undefeated 4-0 at the start of her career, beating renowned contenders. But the Filipina crumbled to the top-ranked opponents, one of such is Mei Yamaguchi.
Ritu Phogat will certainly be tested. Winning this fight will be a statement, putting the women’s Atomweight division on alert.
A win will grant her a sure spot on the ONE Women’s Atomweight Grand Prix
With the ONE Women’s Atomweight Grand Prix roster still unfilled and not yet finalized, it can easily be predicted that the top-5 ranked are already in to fill those spots. With this, contenders outside the five will certainly look to impress given the chance and opportunity. This may not be a primary goal for Ritu as she said in previous interviews, but with a win on ONE: Big Bang, it will strengthen her case on deserving a slot.
If ever she might not get the invitation to participate in the Grand Prix, a win over Jomary Torres will skyrocket her chances of fighting a top-5 ranked opponent.
Ritu Phogat Always Ups Her Game
One reason why Ritu Phogat is a prospect that is so entertaining to watch is that she always seems to have an upgrade in each of her fights. What version of herself shows up in the cage is unpredictable and she is not the ordinary wrestler whose game is one dimensional.
On her last appearance, Ritu faced Kun Khmer World Champion Nou Srey Pov. Going into the fight, it was mostly seen that Ritu will have a hard time in the stand-up considering her opponent was a world-class striker. However, Ritu shocked and impressed everybody as she showed a massive improvement in her standup, particularly in Boxing. She did not stay long being on the feet as she eventually stuck to her gameplan and taking action in the canvas.
Well, training at one of the best gyms in the world certainly does give her rewards. Ritu Phogat trains at Evolve MMA where she casually spars and go-rounds with world champions.
Closing Out the Year Strong
With a win on ONE: Big Bang, Ritu Phogat has a chance to go 3-0 in 2020 alone. She will join Eko Roni Saputra as the only ONE MMA fighters doing such a thing this year. It would be a great achievement for her being named, or even being nominated as one of ONE’s Athletes of the Year.
Ritu Phogat is dominant and can work on submissions. She loves to do ground-and-pound. One of her biggest strengths is her intelligent pressure. She sets her takedowns well and not just aggressively put pressure on her opponent. When it comes to the ground, Ritu is excellent at methodically improving her position, while landing damage. It is almost like a Khabib-style of fighting, a dominant game.
Winning the fight against Jomary Torres will give her a much needed good momentum coming into the year 2021.
Featured Image Credits to ONE Championship
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