Ritu Phogat will face Stamp Fairtex in ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix Championship Final

The bout takes place at ONE: WINTER WARRIORS, live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium on 3rd December.

Ritu Phogat in a file photo; Credit: ONE Championship

Following her incredible victory over Philippines’ Jenelyn Olsim in the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix semi-final (last October 29th) at ONE: NEXTGEN, 27-year-old Ritu Phogat is now ready to face her ultimate challenge in this prestigious tournament. The No. 4-ranked atomweight champion Phogat is scheduled to face former ONE Atomweight Muay Thai and Kickboxing World Champion and current No. 2-ranked atomweight contender Stamp Fairtex of Thailand in the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix Championship Final. The bout takes place at ONE: WINTER WARRIORS, live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Friday, December 3rd.

Phogat plans to leave no stone unturned in preparing for this matchup. “I’ve been focused on the finals for a very long time and I’ve trained for countless hours for the past two years. Victory is closer than I can imagine and I plan to grab it with both hands. This match is crucial for my career and India’s reputation. India has never had a female MMA champion in the past and now I have the power to change the narrative and place an Indian woman on the global MMA stage. I will try my best to make India proud,” said Phogat, according to a release.

Stamp is definitely a formidable opponent: Ritu 

Her opponent, Stamp Fairtex, is widely regarded as the most dangerous striker in the ONE Championship atomweight division. Sharing her thoughts on how to deal with such an opponent, Ritu said: “Stamp is definitely a formidable opponent but she doesn’t have the kind of wrestling experience and background that I have built over the last seven years. I am certain that my superior wrestling background will give me an edge.” 

“Also, I’ve been training extensively and pushing through my wins and my losses, and I plan to make 3rd December an extraordinary match in MMA history. My improved striking capability and game plan will be on display for everyone to see inside the circle. I assure you that this match will be the watcher’s delight and a dreamer’s archetype. Hopefully, I will be spoken about as the first Indian woman to breakthrough on the global MMA stage.”

‘The harder I train, the more fuelled up I am’

The importance of the matchup cannot be overstated, which is why Phogat is pushing herself to the limit in her training camp. “It is always effort over excuses for me. Every match and every opponent comes with a different set of challenges, for which I train hard. When I am at the gym training for 5 or 6 hours, all I am thinking of is sharpening my skills so that I can beat my opponents, no amount of sweat or fatigue can interfere or deter me. I can’t sit until I sweat, for me the grind leads to growth. The harder I train, the more fuelled up I am! I feel restless if I haven’t trained enough.”

Having trained at Evolve MMA in Singapore for the past few years, being away from home and her family in India has understandably been difficult for Phogat. Speaking about it, she said, “My father and my family have been my biggest support. They have helped me remain focused on my goal, and they keep reminding me about why I left home to live in Singapore and train so hard. My father keeps insisting that I should compensate for my training for the next 3 months in the next seven days in the lead up to the fight.” 

“He always says grit, gallantry, persistence and integrity is the most time-tested route to success and I stick by that. If you work hard nothing can work hard against you! This time when I come home, I aim to land with the championship belt in hand and show the world what I am capable of. And then eventually, everything will be worth it, all the hard work, sweat, blood and tears will have been for something.”

Sportslumo Desk

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