Indian wrestling champion Ritu “The Indian Tigress” Phogat is quickly progressing in her career since transitioning to the sport of mixed martial arts in 2019. After victories over three solid opponents, Phogat’s toughest challenge so far comes in the form of the Philippines’ Jomary “The Zamboanginian Fighter” Torres.
Phogat and Torres do battle in a three-round atomweight mixed martial arts contest at ONE: BIG BANG, which broadcasts live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore this Friday, 4 December.
Phogat has studied Torres’ particular style, her opponent’s specific strengths and weaknesses, and knows what she’s looking for once she steps inside the Circle with Filipina veteran.
“Her biggest strength is that she is a wushu martial artist. Also, her ground game is excellent. She is a good fighter. She has won some great matches in ONE since her arrival. And as always, I will be prepared for her,” Phogat said of Torres.
“I don’t know, but I’m sure if there is any weakness in her, she will be well aware of it and working hard towards overcoming it. Every athlete wants to win.”
Torres is a SEA Games Sambo Medalist trained under the watchful eye of Filipino martial arts pioneer, Rene Catalan. She has a predominantly striking style based heavily on the Chinese martial art of Wushu Sanshou, which is very popular in the Philippines. She is also adept in wrestling.
Conversely, Phogat is a wrestling icon back home in her country of India. Phogat is a Commonwealth Wrestling Gold Medalist, a World Under-23 Wrestling Champion, and a three-time Indian national champion.
When Phogat made her mixed martial arts debut with ONE Championship last year, however, “The Indian Tigress” had to learn the striking arts to round out her game. Fortunately, Phogat has improved quite drastically throughout her first year of competition.
“I know that I am very good at wrestling, and I’m confident about that. But MMA is about using different martial arts to try and beat your opponent. I need to adjust my game plan according to her strengths,” said Phogat.
ONE: BIG BANG is the first of ONE Championship’s live event offerings in the month of December. The main event features a showdown between ONE Light Heavyweight Kickboxing World Champion Roman Kryklia of the Ukraine and challenger Murat “The Butcher” Aygun of the Netherlands.
Phogat is planning something special for her fourth appearance in the Circle, and invites fans to tune in for a surprising outcome.
“I like to think that whenever I enter the Circle, I’m always looking to win. For that, I need to be better than my opponent on any given day. I just want to learn and improve with every fight. I want to edge closer to my target,” said Phogat.
“Fans have to watch this match. I would like to think that if I am able to knock her out, then it will be amazing. She is an amazing athlete, and she will also come all guns blazing so I have to be well-prepared and not get ahead in my mind.”
Watch ONE: BIG BANG this Friday, 4 December on One Sports+ at 8:30 p.m. Philippine Standard Time (PHT). One Sports will air the event on a same-day delay at 9 p.m. PHT. Additionally, TV5 will air the event on a next-day delay at 11 p.m. PHT.