Ritu Phogat marked her appearance in the Mixed Martial Arts on a winning note after she defeated South Korea's Kim Nam-hee with a technical knockout in the first round of the atomweight (52 kg) contest at One Championship’s Age of Dragons event in Beijing, China on Saturday.
The 2016 Commonwealth Games gold medalist just took three minutes to register her win over her opponent. Himanshu Kaushik, Pooja Tomar and Rahul Raju were the other three Indian participants at the tournament apart from Ritu.
Ritu, 25, has participated in mega-events such as Wrestling World Championships, Commonwealth Wrestling Championships, Asian Wrestling Championships, Yasar Dogu International, and the Pro Wrestling League.
She has been learning the arts of Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Boxing training under EVOLVE MMA since February.
Ritu had many fans at China cheering for her, just because of the bollywood superhit Dangal, which collected US$307 millions across the world, was a story covered on her elder sisters Geeta and Babita which also highlighted her father's coaching career.
"Papaji (Mahavir Phogat) had no idea what MMA is but when Ritu showed her some videos, he said this is the same as wrestling but looks like it also needs more stamina and physical fitness,” says Babita Phogat to Indian Express.
"Since Ritu was on her own in Singapore, she would call us everyday and tell us about her training. So like wrestling, the whole family once again got together to help Ritu. We also watched MMA and shared inputs once we understood some of the moves," added Babita.