Meng Bo wants nothing more than to challenge ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion “Unstoppable” Angela Lee for her strap, and this Friday, 3 September, she’ll get the chance to move one step closer to her ultimate goal.
Meng takes on Ritu “The Indian Tigress” Phogat in the quarterfinals of the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix at ONE: EMPOWER, the historic all-female event that also kicks off ONE Championship’s return to strictly live events.
“I’m participating in this Grand Prix because I want to win the [Grand Prix] Championship first, then have the chance to challenge for the real World Championship — and to beat Angela Lee,” Meng said.
“Once I defeat Ritu in the Grand Prix, then I can continue the championship journey in the following matches. Besides, a victorious start will make me more confident, physically and mentally.”
Meng and Phogat were originally slated to face one another when the Grand Prix was announced earlier this year, but when “The Indian Tigress” lost to Bi “Killer Bee” Nguyen at ONE: DANGAL, she also lost her spot in the tournament.
However, a win in her next outing saw Phogat back in the bracket, and she will now take on Meng, who has been preparing for a different opponent.
“The change of opponent did cause some difficulties,” Meng said.
“In the beginning, my opponent was Ritu. According to her strengths, I mainly needed to prepare for takedown defense. But later, my opponent was changed. They were more stand-up type of fighters, so [I changed my focus].
“Then, my opponent was changed to Ritu again. I thought, ‘Fine, I had prepared to fight against her since the beginning. It might not be too bad if I just resume that preparation.’”
In Phogat, Meng will take on a Wrestling Champion, and the Chinese star knows she’ll have to find a way to counter her foe’s grappling strength.
“The most important thing to prepare is takedown defense. She’s much better at takedown skills than striking. My wrestling skills are not bad, either, but stand-up is still my strength,” she said.
It’s her stand-up skills she’ll be banking on come Friday night, where she’s aiming for a stunning start to what she hopes is a run toward the top.
“My own goal is to knock her out, but nobody knows what will happen in the real fight,” she said. “It depends on performance — I’ll try my best to win by KO.”
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