ONE Championship held the official open workout for “ONE: King of the Jungle” in New Delhi, India on February 12, 2020. It featured Indian wrestling superstar and atomweight athlete Ritu “The Indian Tigress” Phogat, the youngest daughter of legendary wrestling coach Mahavir Singh Phogat.
“I was honored to showcase my skills in front of all these fans and media here in India,” Ritu said. “My career has been a fantastic one but when I decided to make the transition to mixed martial arts, I knew the risk and the reward. As an athlete, I am open to meet any challenge head on.”
“I am motivated to become the best mixed martial artist that I can be,” Ritu continued. “Working with elite World Champions at Evolve in Singapore has really cultivated my combat skills and transformed me into a complete fighter.”
“I know I still have a long way to go but I’m willing to continue to put the work in until I reach my ultimate goal,” Ritu added. “My dream is to give India its first ever mixed martial arts World Champion.”
Mahavir was present during the “ONE: King of the Jungle” open workout in New Delhi. They were joined by ONE Championship group chief commercial officer Hari Vijayarajan.
Coming from a famed wrestling family, Ritu began her own training at the age of 8. Her father is a legendary coach who trained several of her family members and led them to the highest levels of the sport, inspiring the hit movie “Dangal.”
Ritu had to dropped out of school to focus on her wrestling career. She won three Indian national championships in wrestling before taking gold at the 2016 Commonwealth Wrestling Championships in Singapore.
In 2017, Ritu won a silver medal at the prestigious World Under-23 Wrestling Championships in Poland, becoming the first female Indian wrestler to do so. She was expected by many to represent India at the 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo but she shocked the wrestling world when she announced that she was switching her focus to mixed martial arts instead.
As a ONE Championship athlete, Ritu promptly moved to Singapore to join the world-renowned Evolve MMA, where she trains with multiple Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Champions to bring her striking and submission skills up to par with her elite wrestling. Her ultimate goals are to make her country proud with her performances on the global stage and to become India’s first MMA world champion, a goal she hopes to attain within two years.
At “ONE: King of the Jungle,” Ritu goes for two-in-a-row in her budding MMA career when she locks horns with Wu Chiao Chen of China. The Indian contender sizzled in her ONE Championship debut in 2019 by finishing Nam Hee Kim of South Korea in the first round by technical knockout.
“ONE: King of the Jungle” will take place at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore on February 28, 2020. Ritu will need to be at the top of her game against Wu, who is looking to make an impact in her ONE Championship debut.
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