Ritu “The Indian Tigress” Phogat made the most of second chances after re-entering the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix and defeating a top-ranked contender in the quarterfinals.
Phogat faced #2-ranked atomweight Meng Bo at ONE: EMPOWER last Friday, 3 September, overcame a thoroughly gassing first round, and blazed through the next two rounds to score the unanimous decision win – shocking all the naysayers who questioned why she still deserved to be in the tournament.
“I am happy with this win. It doesn’t matter what my opponent said before the match, because I never take it negatively. I believe in facing these challenges and answering them inside the Circle. I give my 110 percent, and my victory ensures that they get their answers,” Phogat said.
That said, Phogat isn’t admiring her win against Meng. She knows there’s still work to be done in order to get to the prize at the end, which is a clash with ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion “Unstoppable” Angela Lee.
“I still have to improve in lots of things because I will face tougher challenges in the upcoming matches. I must make myself better, so I will be training even harder than before,” she added.
Now that she’s defeated the #4-ranked atomweight, “The Indian Tigress” could very well find herself in the top-five rankings of the atomweight division. However, she’s not focused on the numbers.
“It doesn’t matter to me much, but I want to face the best fighters in the atomweight division. I don’t care what my ranking is. I consider myself to be the best, and I will prove to the world that I am the best fighter in the atomweight division,” Phogat said.
She’s still a ways off from that goal, however. Phogat now has to get through the semifinals, which hasn’t had its lineup set yet. In fact, ONE Championship is letting fans vote for who they think Phogat should face in the semifinals of the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix.
But whoever her opponent may be, whether Stamp Fairtex, Itsuki “Android 18” Hirata, or “Arale Chan” Seo Hee Ham, one thing’s certain – Phogat will need all the backing she can get.
“I am nothing without your support,” she said to her fans, “Keep showering me with your love, and I will surely win the World Title for India.”
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