The Phogat family is akin to wrestling royalty in India. They have been an inspiration to many because of their tremendous talent and the many accolades to their name. And when one of them, 25-year-old Ritu Phogat, announced earlier this year that she wanted to switch to Mixed Martial Arts, we were extremely excited.
She joined Singapore-based Evolve Fight Team and took down South Korea’s Kim Nam-Hee in her first-ever One: Age of Dragons Championship match in Beijing’s Wukesong Arena.
What a great night it was for me personally. I would specially like to thank my parents, my sisters, and @ONEChampionship @EvolveMMA and everyone else who believed in me and made this transition possible. pic.twitter.com/R4OjAhZ8dS
— “THE INDIAN TIGRESS” (@PhogatRitu) November 17, 2019
The Times of India quoted her revealing the strategy of her MMA debut saying,
“I believed that if I got her down early, I could finish her via ground and pound. The plan worked.”
According to The Indian Express, her technical knockout victory came in a mere 3 minutes and 40 seconds!
🇮🇳 DOMINANT DEBUT 🇮🇳
Indian phenom Ritu Phogat scores a Round 1 TKO against Nam Hee Kim to pick up her first victory in mixed martial arts! @PhogatRitu#WeAreONE #ONEChampionship #AgeOfDragons pic.twitter.com/J2WCjwAhBT
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) November 16, 2019
The Hindu quoted her saying,
“I want to thank my sisters and my family, they believed in me and motivated me. I want to thank everyone for their support, I promise I’ll always give my one hundred percent.”
She further added,
“I have only one goal and that’s to win the ONE Atomweight World Championship for my country. That’s why I chose AR Rahman’s ‘Vande Mataram’ as my walkout song, listening to it fills me with enthusiasm and makes me want to do something for India. For me, it’s all about becoming the first Indian world champion in MMA.”
Indian wrestler Ritu Phogat made successful mixed martial arts and ONE Championship debut, putting together a dominant performance on the way to a knockout victory over South Korea’s Nam Hee Kim in Beijing. pic.twitter.com/4KUz3JNbIR
— Doordarshan Sports (@ddsportschannel) November 17, 2019
Twitter soon went into ‘Dangal’ mode and congratulated Ritu on her brilliant display of dominance and power.
— Gaurav Kaushik (@iGauravKaushik) November 19, 2019
Congratulations #rituphogat for winning one championship.
— Deepak panchal (@deepakp1328) November 19, 2019
Absolute dominance!! More power to you girl…Thanks for finally letting me admire & talk (brag) about an indian fighter #rituphogat #mma #indiainmma #indiansinmma #onefc @ONEChampionship@PhogatRitu https://t.co/dozjAhjVlZ
— Pushkar Deshpande (@thatpushguy) November 18, 2019
I watched my first MMA fight today in One Championship as Ritu Phogat made her debut and absolutely smashed her South Korean opponent… I think I am going to be a MMA fan from now on…..
— Subhamay Biswas (@SubhamayBiswa11) November 16, 2019
Once Ritu Phogat is on grappling mode , she's unstoppable. she's completely dominant on ground no matter who her opponent is .
— praneeth bhandary (@praneeth_666) November 16, 2019
Kudos! We hope that you fulfill your dream of becoming the country’s first MMA world champion.