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Saturday, September 18, 2021

‘Don’t underestimate me’: Ritu Phogat sends a warning to Meng Bo

The 27-year-old Phogat will face Meng Bo in the quarter-final round of the highly anticipated ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix on Friday at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

By: Sports Desk |
September 1, 2021 10:38:57 pm
Ritu Phogat is nicknamed as "The Indian Tigress". (Twitter/ONE)

Ritu Phogat, one of the top ONE Championship atomweight contenders, sent out a warning to her upcoming opponent Meng Bo of China. “Do not underestimate me,” said the Haryana-born mixed martial artist.

The 27-year-old will face Meng Bo in the quarter-final round of the highly anticipated ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix on Friday at the Singapore Indoor Stadium following a commanding victory over Lin Heqin last July.

“I’m extremely excited to be back in the Grand Prix. Featuring on the all-women ONE: EMPOWER card feels surreal and fulfilling but we are only halfway through the journey of making ourselves invincible in the MMA space. I’ve always maintained from day one that I belong in the Grand Prix, and I’ve proved my mettle once again. I strongly believe that I deserve to be here and it is a homecoming for me,” Phogat said.

“Every fight is a learning experience and I learned invaluable lessons with every fight I endured. The last fight has made me more confident as an MMA professional and you will get to see that confidence in the next fight.”

Meng Bo is ranked #2 at atomweight in ONE Championship. The confident Chinese star is on a six-fight winning streak, which includes three victories in the Circle.

Phogat understands the legitimate threat that stands before her, but is also quick to remind her opponent that she too is a formidable foe.

“My last match bears witness to the grit, determination and undaunting spirit of women in India. We don’t talk, just act. Don’t say, just show. Don’t just promise but prove! I have all that it takes to make it one of the most formidable face-offs for Meng Bo. She may have more experience but I have persistence, passion, purpose and the love and prayers of my fans, family and friends on my side. All I want to say is that don’t underestimate me or mistake me to be one of your sheep. You would have started first but I am going to finish fierce, strong and victorious. I will ensure this is one of the most unforgettable matches of our careers,” Phogat said.

“If you follow my progress, my striking has improved. I have been working really hard towards honing my striking skills and it is something that you will witness in my next match. I’ve been training extremely hard and all the training that I have done, you will witness this September 3rd.”

If Phogat wins, she will move on to the semi-final round of the Grand Prix. From there, she needs two more victories to become the tournament champion.

ONE: EMPOWER is ONE Championship’s historic, all-female fight card featuring only women — the first for a major global martial arts organization. In the main event, reigning ONE Women’s Strawweight World Champion “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan defends her World Title against #2-ranked strawweight contender, Michelle Nicolini.

The event can be live-streamed on Disney + Hotstar and live-telecasted on Star Sports Select 1 from 5 PM (IST) on September 3.

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