Indian MMA

I have always followed footsteps of Khabib, says Ritu Phogat

Indian MMA star Ritu Phogat needs no introduction and she notes that she has been an avid fan of Khabib Nurmagomedov. A Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist in Wrestling, Ritu hails from wrestling royalty in India and has now successfully transitioned into Mixed Martial Arts as well.

The Indian Tigress is currently 7-2 in her professional MMA career and has been a force to reckon with in the ONE Championship Atomweight division. Currently training at EVOLVE MMA in Singapore, Ritu is an Asian Championship Bronze Medallist and World U-23 Championship Silver Medallist in Wrestling as well.

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A part of the Iconic Phogat Family, it was in 2019 that Ritu transitioned into MMA and signed with ONE Championship. She made her MMA debut in the same year at ONE: Age of Dragons and has not looked back ever since.

Currently coming off a loss against former Two-Sport World Champion Stamp Fairtex, Ritu will be looking to bounce back when she fights the experienced Tiffany Teo next.

Ahead of her showdown with Tiffany Teo, Ritu spoke to Hindustan Times and reacted to Conor McGregor supporting her. McGregor had given words of motivation to the Indian MMA star on Twitter and while Ritu is happy about the greetings from the Irishman, she noted that she has always followed in the footsteps of Khabib Nurmagomedov.

“One of the top fighters in MMA is cheering for you, there cannot be anything bigger than this. It motivated me but I have always followed in Khabib's footsteps. He also has a wrestling background, I think our style is also similar, so he's always been my favourite and will remain,” the Indian Tigress noted.

She has been vocal about her admiration of Khabib in the past as well and has noted multiple times that she is a fan of the Russian MMA star.

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Speaking about her future ahead, Ritu noted that she is closing the gaps in her game and that she will indeed capture the ONE Atomweight title.

“I had prepared very hard for the match, but when I stepped into the cage I couldn't do what I had hoped to. I believe it was not my day. The way my body had to function, unfortunately, it couldn't happen. But this time I'll work even harder and win the title,” Ritu added.

What do you think of the statements from Ritu? Let us know in the comments below.