Ritu “The Indian Tigress” Phogat bounced back from her first loss in ONE Championship with a dominant win over “MMA Sister” Lin Heqin in July, and by doing so, re-entered her name into the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix.
Heading into the Grand Prix, many fans have been referring to Phogat as the “Chinese Killer” because of the way she dominated her two Chinese opponents.
But in Meng, who’s also from China, she faces a completely different athlete.
“I am flattered to hear such praises, but I don’t care if my opponent is from China or any other country. She is another huge challenge in front of me that I must face,” Phogat said.
“Meng is a great striker and has won lots of matches by knockout, so I am ready for that already. She will face a different “The Indian Tigress” from [what people have seen] before.”
If anyone had to guess, they’d probably expect Phogat to come out even more well-rounded than she did in her bout against Lin.
In that clash, the wrestler showed improved striking, which she may or may not show in her upcoming foray with Meng.
“She is a great fighter, and I respect her a lot. I don’t want to say anything about her weaknesses, but I have developed a game plan for her, which you will get to see inside the Circle. All I want to say is that my biggest strength is my wrestling, and it will be her biggest weakness,” she said.
Phogat will undoubtedly want to capitalize on her rival’s weakness, especially since Meng is known to be more of a striker.
No matter how the fight unfolds, Phogat wants to make a statement that will not only blindside Meng but have all seven of the other women in the Grand Prix raise their brows.
“I want to finish this match as soon as possible, and I would look to do it in a different way. I want to finish her in a way that other fighters in the Grand Prix take note of,” Phogat said.
If she can finish Meng, she’ll be well on her way toward the ultimate prize — a showdown with ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion “Unstoppable” Angela Lee.
Of course, she wants to overcome all the competitors and Lee as a challenge to herself. But she also wants to do it for her country.
“I want to win all the matches of the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix and show the world that Indian fighters can be the best. Also, I want to prove that I am one of the best fighters in the atomweight division,” she said.
“Right now, my focus is on Meng Bo. I want to overcome this challenge first. After that, whatever challenges I will have to face to win the [Grand Prix] belt, I will be ready [for].”
In the meantime, catch all the action at ONE: BATTLEGROUND III, which airs on Friday, 27 August, on meWATCH and the ONE Super App at 8:30 p.m. SGT.
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