December 3rd, 2021 sees the return of ONE Championship with yet another huge event, ONE: Winter Warriors. This stacked event will be headlined by Regian Eersel who defends his Lightweight Kickboxing Championship against ONE Championship newcomer Islam Murtazaev.
Also on the card sees the return of BJJ Heavyweight legend, Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida, stepping into the ONE circle for the second time this year as he faces undefeated Kang Ji Wong (5-0).
The fight ONE Championship fans are all talking about is the final of the Women’s Atomweight Grand Prix Championship between Stamp Fairtex and Ritu Phogat, it promises to be an MMA fan’s dream, the classic battle of striker vs grappler. Whoever prevails as the winner of the tournament will go on to challenge Atomweight Queen Angela Lee.
In preparation for ONE: Winter Warriors I caught up with “The Indian Tigress” herself Ritu Phogat to see how she feels going into the biggest fight of her career”
Ritu Phogat Interview
Good Day Ritu, how are you feeling going into this fight?
I’ve been focused on the finals for a very long time, and I’ve trained countless hours for the past 2 years. Victory is closer than I can imagine and I plan to grab it with both hands. This match is crucial for my career and India’s reputation.
How big of a fight is this for the people of India?
India has never had a female Champion in the past and now I have the power to change the narrative and to place an Indian woman on the global MMA stage, I will try my best to make India proud.
How big of a challenge will this be for you?
It’s always effort over excuses for me, every opponent comes with a different set of challenges for which I train hard. When I am at the gym for 5 or 6 hours, all I am thinking about is sharpening my skills so that I’m ready to beat my opponents.
The past few years, you have spent much of that time in Singapore how is it being away from your family for so long?
My father and my family have been my biggest support, they have helped me remain focused on my goal and keep reminding me about why I left home to live in Singapore to train hard. When I return home I plan to land with the Championship belt in hand to show the world and then everything will have been worth it.
What are your thoughts on your opponent Stamp Fairtex and how will you deal with her striking?
Stamp is definitely a formidable opponent, but she doesn’t have the kind of wrestling experience and background that I have. I am certain that my superior wrestling background will give me an edge. I plan to make it an extraordinary match in MMA history.
You recently had some high praise from a certain Conor McGregor how was that for you?
I was thrilled and extremely elated to be praised by him. It gave me more confidence to show what I’m capable of, in the circle. When Cinor McGregor gets back after his recovery he will still be a Champion as he has always been and so will I.
And finally, what advice do you give to your young supporters looking to pursue life?
There is no shortcut to the dedication and hard work, eventually, that is what will count and show results, just work at being the best that is what I want to pass on to all the youngsters out there.
I would like to thank Ritu Phogat for taking the time to give us an insight into her preparation for Stamp Fairtex at ONE: Winter Warriors.
As always ONE: Winter Warriors can be watched live via the ONE Championship super App and live on YouTube.
Image Credits to ONE Championship PR