Indian MMA star Ritu Phogat will be a part of ONE Championship’s Women’s Atomweight Grand Prix.
On Wednesday, 24 February, ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong officially announced the upcoming ONE Atomweight World Grand Prix.
The eight-woman tournament will begin with the quarterfinal round on 28 May and conclude sometime later this year. The winner, of course, will face ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion “Unstoppable” Angela Lee in November.
Of the eight women selected to be in the tournament, one of them is Commonwealth Wrestling Championships Gold Medalist Ritu Phogat.
Ritu Phogat has been an unstoppable force herself since joining ONE Championship in November 2019. She’s gone 4-0 in the Circle, earning three of those wins by stoppage.
The women who have already fallen to Phogat include Jomary “The Zamboanginian Fighter” Torres, Nou Srey Pov, “Miss Red” Wu Chiao Chen, and “Captain Marvel” Nam Hee Kim.
But Ritu Phogat won’t have an easy entrance into the World Grand Prix. All of the other seven women are highly accomplished.
Ritu Phogat confident of becoming the first-ever Indian World Champion in MMA history
The group includes #1-ranked Denice “The Menace” Zamboanga, #2-ranked Meng Bo, former two-sport ONE World Champion and #5-ranked Stamp Fairtex, undefeated Itsuki “Strong Heart Fighter” Hirata, previous newcomer Alyona Rassohyna, and finally, debutants Alyse Anderson and Seo Hee Ham.
“Here it is,” Phogat said in an Instagram post, “the first Indian woman to enter the World Championship Grand Prix and my first step towards my goal of becoming [the] first-ever Indian World Champion in MMA history.”
Although the tournament brackets haven’t yet been decided, anyone who Phogat is paired within the quarterfinals will present a challenge to the Indian wrestling icon.
“I need your blessings, good wishes, and support,” she continued. “I will try my hardest to achieve this goal … Lots of love to all.”
“C’mon India, let the preparations begin. Jai Hind.”
In the meantime, catch all the action tonight at ONE: FISTS OF FURY on Hotstar, Star Sports Select 2, or the ONE Super App at 6 p.m. India Standard Time (IST).