When Ritu Phogat entered Mixer Martial Arts (MMA) from wrestling, he knew that he would have to make sacrifices. In addition to leaving a discipline in which he was the U-23 World Silver medalist to get out as a cheater in the second, he also had to learn to live in foreign lands for some time, away from his family. . The latest emotional trade may be the biggest one yet – he may miss his sister’s wedding next month.
Ritu’s younger sister Sangeeta is getting married in November (to champion wrestler Bajrang Punia) and as things stand, Ritu says she is unlikely to participate. “I have always loved weddings. During my wrestling career, I have never missed a family wedding. And this is my own sister’s wedding. I have always planned for how I will be a part of it. I told. ” Sangeeta how I will dance in it. But I don’t think I will be able to join it, “she says from Singapore, where she trains at the Evolve MMA gym, making her career in the One Championship.
Ritu will fight for the third time in the One Championship against Nu Sree Pove of Cambodia on 30 October and may possibly return home. But restrictions on travel and health quarantine are more difficult than usual.
“When the wedding date was set, I was asked if I had a fight at the moment. I felt that I hadn’t done that and I don’t think that would have caused so much difficulty planning the coronovirus epidemic,” she said. She says.
It is an option that Ritu is likely to keep his eyes firmly on on one goal – to become the first Indian MMA champion in the game.
The epidemic has already cost months of training. In February, Ritu lifted her MMA record to 2–0 with her second consecutive finish. Just before sealing the borders she managed a brief trip to Holi before returning to Singapore. The next eight months have been her longest uninterrupted stretch in Singapore since she first signed a contract with the One Championship in 2019.
He is not able to spend all of that time in Singapore during training. Due to the country’s social distancing health codes, Ritu was only allowed to train herself – limiting her to shadow boxing and conditioning until July. While she is now beginning to practice without restrictions, an opportunity has opened up.
It comes in the form of the One Championship women’s atomweight (52.2 kg) belt that will be for the graves following the announcement of title holder Angela Lee earlier this month. The belt will now be decided through an eight-man grand prix. While Ritu is still very early in her career, she hopes to compete for the title as well. This is not a long shot, given how fundamental he is to the One Championship’s India expansion plans. She says, “This title is the reason I became an MMA Fighter. It would be great if I was chosen as one of those eight fighters at this Grand Prix.”
For a prospect, there can be no break in his career. “If I go to India, it is going to have a big impact on my career. I will have to spend fourteen days in quarantine and even after that I will not know if I am allowed to return to Singapore or not.” Hard decision, but I don’t want to miss the opportunity. If I take another break from my training, it will be difficult for me to improve, ”she says.
For now, it focuses on doing Ritu. “When I first came to Singapore, the only thing I knew how to wrestle. When I first started training in Jiu Jitsu, Brazil, I was beaten within the first minute every time. It was the same thing when I was also learning striking. In fact, in my first fight, after I landed my opponent, my corner had to remind me to throw punches, “she says.
Her jiu jitsu has gotten better now, to the point that it is one of her favorite subjects of MMA. Ritu now hopes that she will be able to show some improvement in her fight against Shrey Pow. She says, “I want everyone in my weight division to see me as just a wrestler. I want them to be shocked when I get a knockout or submission.”
As she wants to make a name for herself, Ritu knows that she will have to make a choice and this is something her family understands as well. She says, “I spoke to my father recently. He told me that he would come if it was possible. But he also said that I should focus on my career and what I should do to improve, Do that. ” This is a decision he is leaning towards. “When I decided to move to Singapore and start my MMA career, I knew it would be hard decisions to make. I have been working hard for almost two years now. I have to make sure that hard work pays off To do.” She says.