Ritu Phogat has faith on her wrestling to topple Itsuki Hirata’s Judo at ONE: NextGen on Oct 29

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In the ladder of mixed martial arts, Indian fighting icon Ritu Phogat is only focused on climbing. Ahead of her ONE Atomweight Grand Prix semifinal clash against Itsuki Hirata at ONE: NextGen on 29th October, Phogat will not be making the mistake of underestimating her opponent, but certainly has full faith in her wrestling knowledge to get the better of the Japanese judoka when they clash at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Hailing from the village of Balali in Haryana, which is known as the cradle of Indian wrestling, Ritu Phogat comes with the impeccable pedigree of the art of grappling, that has been the catalyst behind her rising success at ONE Championships, and the 27-year-old believes that same knowledge of wrestling will help her overcome her next hurdle, Hirata, before she finds herself in the Atomweight Grand Prix final.

An MMA champion in the making, Ritu Phogat comes from a rich wrestling background

Before coming to the MMA scene, Ritu Phogat won the 48 kg gold at the 2016 Commonwealth Wrestling Championship in Singapore, before winning the National Wrestling Championships title back to back in the same year.

However, she decided to take up the sport of mixed martial arts because Ritu wanted to stand out from the crowd, despite having no knowledge about whether there even were any MMA training centres in India.

“My wrestling will get the better of her (Itsuki Hirata) Judo,” said Phogat in an interview with Sportstar when asked about her Japanese opponent next Friday, “I’m improving my striking and strengthening my ground game.”

“My opponent is also a very good fighter. She is an experienced judoka so I will not underestimate her. But I have faith in my game and my name,” the Haryanvi added by saying that she won’t be taking Hirata as an easy opponent.

Following her sole career loss against Bi Nguyen at ONE Championship: Dangal on 15th May, Ritu Phogat has bounced back strong and is on a two-fight winning streak. Prior to defeating Meng Bo in early September, she defeated Lin Heqin at ONE Championship: Battleground on 30th July via unanimous decision.

“My last win over the top contender silenced all the critics who said I didn’t deserve to participate in the Grand Prix,” said Phogat, who got back into the Grand Prix following the victory over Lin.

Nicknamed “Android 18”, Itsuki Hirata became a champion at the Japanese reality show Fighting Agent War Tournament. She defeated Alyse Anderson from the United States at ONE: Empower to clinch her spot at the semifinals.

ALSO READ: Three Ways Ritu Phogat Can Outpower Itsuki Hirata In GP Semifinal


  • Indian MMA star Ritu Phogat says her wrestling will overpower Itsuki Hirata’s Judo
  • The two are set to clash in the semifinal stage of ONE Atomweight Grand Prix at the upcoming ONE Championship: NextGen on Oct 29
  • Ritu Phogat is coming off of a victory via unanimous decision against Meng Bo at ONE Championship: Empower back in September

Do you agree with Ritu Phogat regarding her faith in her wrestling? Will she make it to the Grand Prix final? Let us know in the comments below.

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