Ritu Phogat Returns Following Loss

Ritu Phogat - ONE: Empower

ONE Championship’s second-half of 2021 will get underway on Friday, July 30, with ONE: Battleground. Part of the action will be Ritu Phogat, who will be looking to right her ship with a dominant performance against China’s Lin Heqin.

Ritu Phogat Returns to the Circle at ONE: Battleground

Ritu Phogat remains one of the top atomweight athletes to watch. A dominant wrestler with Commonwealth Games gold, but decided to test the mixed martial arts waters instead of preparing for the 2020 Olympic Games.

And everything had been going according to plan.

At Evolve MMA, “The Indian Tigress” steadily grew her game. Each time out, Phogat looked more comfortable within the confines of the ONE Circle, and each time, she won. However, the first setback of her career was dealt at the hands of Bi Nguyen.

Phogat got her early takedowns, but the defense of Nguyen was on-point. As the bout drew on, the Indian star’s energy drained and allowed “Killer Bee” to find success on the feet. At the end of three hard rounds, two of the judges awarded Nguyen the match.

Losses can fold some athletes while teaching valuable lessons to others. Now the world will see which category Ritu Phogat falls into.

The simple fact that “The Indian Tigress” has jumped back into the Circle so quickly should be a sign that she is eager to erase the taste of defeat but also put on a showcase to emphatically state she is still a major factor in the division.

The Evolve MMA product was set to be a part of the ONE Atomweight World Grand Prix, but the loss knocked her out of the tournament. If she gets a dominant victory at ONE: Battleground, can she then force her way to become the top choice for being an alternate? Only time will tell.

Phogat’s journey is still at the starting line. With each bout, she grows her game, and with each bout, we learn more about her mind and heart. ONE: Battleground will tell us how she deals with the adversity of suffering a loss in this sport.

Suppose the famed Indian wrestling family member can put Leqin away and reappear as the dominant wrestling force within the division. In that case, it may serve as a warning shot across the bow of the entire division that she is angry and ready for her move into the upper echelon.

Big things await “The Indian Tigress,” and ONE: Battleground will be her time to showcase she is ready for everything the global stage will throw at her.

ONE: Battleground airs live on Bleacher Report, Bleacher Report’s YouTube channel, and the Bleacher Report app on Friday, July 30, at 8:30 a.m. EST/5:30 a.m. PST.


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