Before competing in the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix later this month, Ritu “The Indian Tigress” Phogat will turn her attention to another atomweight challenge.
The Indian Wrestling Champion is scheduled to face ONE Championship veteran Bi “Killer Bee” Nguyen at ONE: DANGAL, which airs this Saturday, 15 May, on the ONE Super App and ONE YouTube channel at 6 p.m. SGT.
“I’m really excited about this match, I want to kick-start 2021 with a win. My record [in ONE] is 4-0 so far, and I wish to continue this trend,” Phogat said.
“I’ve done plenty of hard work this year. So I want to show something new in my next fight. I’m eager to show my improved skills to my fans.”
“The Indian Tigress” will do so at an event that’s not just named after the traditional Indian wrestling competition, but is also the name of the movie – “Dangal” – made about her family’s journey through wrestling.
And she’ll be up against a woman who’s known for her striking, which could pose problems for the talented wrestler. Still, Phogat believes this bout will bring out her best.
“Bi is a wonderful human being and a friend. She braided my hair before my last fight too. But as an opponent, she is a great fighter. She is more experienced than me. She is a top fighter, and I will have to face every skill of hers,” the Indian star said.
“It will be great to test myself against a top fighter like her. I’ll come to know about my skills, where I should improve more. It is going to be a good match.”
All in all, “The Indian Tigress” isn’t looking past Nguyen, even if she does have the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix on her mind.
That’s because she knows how much a win would mean to her compatriots in India who are struggling through one of the worst waves of COVID-19 since the pandemic began last year.
“I am very happy to showcase my skills at this event for my Indian fans. I want to tell them that, ‘Yes, ‘The Indian Tigress’ has arrived at DANGAL, and I’m waiting for this big event,’” she said.
“India is going through a difficult time right now with the second wave of COVID-19. I just want to say, ‘Be strong, and we all must fight this together. We must help each other and keep faith that we will get past this.”
As far as predictions for the bout, Phogat is supremely confident that she will end the night with her hand raised.
“Losing is not an option for me. It doesn’t matter how it will end – my goal is that the match finishes with my win,” she said.
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