New Delhi: Wrestler-turned-mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Ritu Phogat said on Wednesday that winning against Japanese judoka – Itsuki Hirata in the semi-finals of the Women’s ONE World Atomic Weight Grand Prix is important because it can put an Indian woman on the spot. world stage of MMA.Also Read – Independence Day 2021: Mary Kom to Virender Sehwag, How the Sports Brotherhood Wished Fans on 75th I-Day
Having won six of her first seven fights since transitioning to the MMA circuit, Ritu, 27, is now ready for the ultimate challenge. Also Read – RIP Ritika Phogat: Sisters Geeta and Babita Mourn the Death of ‘Choti Behen’
Scheduled to face undefeated Japanese judoka Itsuki Hirata in the Singapore semi-finals at ONE: NEXTGEN, Phogat spares no effort in training. Also Read – Neha Kakkar Donates Rs 1 Lakh to Shantabai Pawar, Pune’s Viral Martial Arts Expert
“I’ve always been focused on the Grand Prix and it’s closer than I can imagine. This is important to me and my country because it can place an Indian woman on the world MMA stage. India has never had an MMA champion in the past and now is the time for us to change that, ”Ritu said in a virtual press conference on Wednesday.
Commenting on the way she plans to face her opponent, Hirata, judo expert and fellow grappler, Ritu said: “My opponent is really great because she has a very solid background in judo. I’m working on increasing my ground game and fine-tuning my hitting skills. And while people may think our styles are similar, I’m sure my experience in wrestling will give me an advantage. Since we are both grapplers, I assure you that this confrontation will be engraved in the mind of the spectator.
Speaking more about her training regimen in the days leading up to the semifinals, the Indian said she is currently doing her best and training twice a day, six times a week.
“It’s always an effort rather than an apology for me. Sometimes I even train three times a day because my dad always told me that hard work is the only shortcut to the championship, ”she said.
“As they rightly say, hard work doesn’t give a damn, and focus and effort are definitely part of your circle of influence. The more I train, the more confident I am and the more equipped I am, the more unassailable I am. From wrestling and strength conditioning to combat and striking, my training covers a broad skill set in MMA, ”she added.
Lamenting her time away from home in India and missing Diwali celebrations for the second year in a row, Phogat shows courage and says: “My Diwali gift to my family and all my fans will be my victory in the semi-finals. I have been away from home and this has been my sad reality for a while, but I know it will be worth it.
Ritu also mentioned that her family has been very supportive of her transition from wrestling to MMA.
“My transition to MMA came at a time when I was at the peak of my wrestling career. The decision was triggered by our under-representation in the sport and I wanted the world to see India through a prism. reinvented in the MMA space. My sisters and dad have been very supportive of me and I want to prove that I am worthy of their unwavering faith, “she said.
On a lighter note, when asked who would she choose if a movie was to be shot about her life and what parts she would like the filmmakers not to leave out, Ritu firmly stated, “When he does. is about sport, people see only the glory and the laurels. But I would like people to know that behind all the glamorous success are years of hard work, sweat and tears. It takes courage and determination to be successful, and there is no cover-up in that. “
“You can’t wrap the tough days spent in grueling training or the nights you feel down after losing. As for who I would choose to play me, I think I’m the best ambassador in my history. life, ”she concluded.