Ritu Phogat flying high after a victory over Lin Heqin
Rising female atom weight star Ritu Phogat, popularly known as “The Indian Tigress” is riding a full wave of confidence after a stellar performance last week against a highly-regarded opponent, “MMA Sister” Lin Heqin of China.
Phogat defeated Heqin via unanimous decision after three solid rounds of action at ONE: BATTLEGROUND, which took place Friday, 30 July in Singapore. With the victory, Phogat respectfully asked ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong for her spot back in the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix.
“I beat Bi [Nguyen], and also now I beat [Lin] Heqin. So Mr. Chatri [Sityodtong], put my name back in the Grand Prix, because I deserve [to be in it],” Phogat said in a short video clip on ONE Championship’s social media pages.
Phogat was originally among the first eight women scheduled to compete in the Grand Prix after bracketing was revealed earlier this year. However, she lost her slot following a narrow split-decision defeat to Vietnamese-American atom weight Bi “Killer Bee” Nguyen just last May.
The Indian wrestling champion obviously feels she won that fight against Nguyen, despite the result, and with her win over Heqin, Phogat believes she has done enough to earn her spot back in the much-anticipated tournament. Whether that happens is entirely up to ONE Championship.
The promotion recently revealed the new schedule for its ONE: EMPOWER card, where the Grand Prix is expected to commence. That event takes place on Friday, 3 September, as per the ONE Championship website.
ONE: EMPOWER is a historic, all-women fight card headlined by a showdown between reigning ONE Women’s Strawweight World Champion “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan and #2-ranked contender Michelle Nicolini of Brazil.
Other quarterfinal matchups in the Grand Prix include Denice Zamboanga (Philippines) vs. Seo Hee Ham (South Korea), Alyona Rassohyna (Ukraine) vs. Stamp Fairtex (Thailand), and many more.