Win against Itsuki Hirata can put an Indian woman on global MMA stage: Ritu Phogat


New Delhi, Oct 20 | Wrestler-turned-Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter Ritu Phogat on Wednesday said that win against Japanese judoka – Itsuki Hirata at the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix semi-finals is important because it can place an Indian woman on the global MMA stage.

After winning six of her first seven fights since making a transition to the MMA circuit, the 27-year-old Ritu is now ready to take on the ultimate challenge.

Set to face-off against the undefeated Japanese judoka, Itsuki Hirata at the semi-finals in Singapore at ONE: NEXTGEN, Phogat is leaving no stone unturned when it comes to training.

“I’ve always been blinker-focused towards the Grand Prix and it is closer than I can imagine. It is important for both me and my country because it can place an Indian woman on the global MMA stage. India has never had a female MMA champion in the past and now it is time for us to change the game,” said Ritu in a virtual press conference on Wednesday.

Commenting on how she plans to take on her opponent, Hirata who is a Judo expert and a fellow grappler, Ritu said, “My opponent is definitely formidable because she has a very strong background in Judo. I am working on augmenting my ground game and sharpening my striking capabilities. And although people may think that our styles are similar, I am certain that my wrestling background will give me an edge. Since we both are grapplers, I assure you that this showdown is going to be etched in the minds of the viewer.”

Talking more about her training regimen in the days leading up to the semi-finals, the Indian said she is currently giving it her best and training twice a day, six times a week.

“It is always effort over excuses for me. Sometimes, I even train thrice a day because my father has always told me that hard work is the only shortcut to championship,” she said.

“Like they rightly say, hard work betrays none, and focus and efforts are well within your circle of influence. The more I train, the more confident I am and the more equipped I am, the more unassailable I am. From wrestling and strength conditioning to sparring and striking, my training covers a vast set of MMA skills,” she added.

Lamenting about her time away from home in India and missing Diwali celebrations for a second year in a row, Phogat puts on a brave front and says, “My Diwali gift to my family and all my fans will be my win at the semi-finals. I’ve been away from home and that has been my grim reality for a while but then I know it will eventually be worth it.”

Ritu also mentioned that her family was very supportive in her transition from wrestling to MMA.

“My transition to MMA has come at a time when I was at the peak of my wrestling career. The decision was triggered by our underrepresentation in the sport and I wanted the world to see India through a reimagined prism in the MMA space. My sisters and my father were very supportive and I want to prove myself worthy of their steadfast belief,” she said.

On a lighter note, when asked who would she’d choose if a movie were to be made about her life and what parts would she want the filmmakers to not leave out, Ritu steadfastly said, “When it comes to sports, people only see the glory and the laurels. But I would want people to know that behind all the glamorous success is years of hard work, sweat and tears. It takes sheer grit and determination to be successful, and there is no glossing over this.”

“You cannot sugar coat the difficult days spent in gruelling training or the nights of feeling low after defeat. As for who I would choose to play me, I think I am the best ambassador for my life story,” she concluded.

Source: IANS

Next Story

60K trucks carrying non-essentials inspected, 31 impounded: Delhi govt

60K trucks carrying non-essentials inspected, 31 impounded: Delhi govt

New Delhi, Dec 7 | A total of 63,727 trucks carrying non-essential commodities have been inspected and 31 impounded since the implementation of the CAQM’s guideline to bar entry of non-CNG and non-electric trucks in the national capital to prevent further deterioration of air quality.

This data was shared in a compiled Action Taken Report (ATR) with regard to directions taken by the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) on December 17 under section 5 of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 “in public interest to curb high air pollution in Delhi”.

As per the initial guidelines, the entry of trucks in Delhi except those carrying essential commodities, till November 21 (subject to further review for extension) was stopped.

On November 24, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai, following the commission’s order, announced the further extension of the ban till December 3. “We have decided that starting November 27, CNG and electric trucks will be allowed to enter. Other trucks will remain banned till December 3. From November 27, CNG and electric trucks, as well as essential service vehicles, will be allowed to enter and the others will remain banned till December 3,” he had told media in a conference.

The order was further extended till December 7 to reduce vehicular emission in the city.

Meanwhile, to control the dust pollution, up until December 5, a total of 576 sites have been visited by the Commission’s Flying Squads and based on serious violations and non-compliances observed in such sites across different sectors namely, industries, industrial areas, construction & demolition (C&D) sites, DG sets in commercial, residential setups and other miscellaneous sectors, etc., a total of 111 units sites have been identified for immediate closure, which include 28 Industrial sites, 42 Construction & Demolition (C&D) sites and 41 Diesel Generator (DG) sets.

In terms of geographical jurisdiction, 30 of these sites are in Delhi, 23 in Haryana (NCR), 43 in Uttar Pradesh (NCR) and 15 in NCR of Rajasthan.

There is a blanket ban on all the construction and demolition (C&D) activities in the city until further orders.

While stubble burning in the neighbouring states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab is reported to be a major source of pollution in the capital, dust from the construction and demolition activities, vehicular emission and pollution from open burning contribute as the city’s own source of pollution.

Delhi’s air quality started deteriorating in the first week of November due to change in the wind direction, increase in stubble burning in its neighbouring states and bursting of firecrackers during Diwali. Its AQI continued to settle in the ‘hazardous’ category for about a week. Post which the Supreme Court took notice of the matter, directing the Delhi government to come up with scientific measures to bring the pollution level down.

It is only after a complete month that Delhi’s AQI began to settle in the lower end of the very poor category. On Tuesday morning, its AQI stood at 314 with the level of PM 2.5 and PM 10 pollutants at very poor and moderate categories, respectively.

Source: IANS

Next Story

Djokovic confirmed for ATP Cup: drops hint he will compete at Australian Open

Djokovic confirmed for ATP Cup: drops hint he will compete at Australian Open

Melbourne, Dec 8 | Djokovic confirmed for ATP Cup: drops hint he will compete at Australian Open. Serbia’s world No. 1 Novak Djokovic has confirmed himself for January’s ATP Cup tournament in Sydney, dropping a hint that he could compete in the season-opening major, the Australian Open, commencing on January 17.

Djokovic — who finished year-end world No. 1 for the record-breaking seventh time, moving ahead of his idol, American legend Pete Sampras (six years) — has perhaps given the clearest hint that he will be there in Melbourne to defend his Australian Open title in January.

A total of 16 countries will compete in the third edition of the ATP Cup beginning January 1, 2022, with four groups announced at the official tournament draw on Tuesday, according to

“18 of the top 20 tennis players in the world will feature in the tournament set to run from January 1-9 as the main ATP precursor to the Australian Open.”

Djokovic has so far kept the Australian Open organisers and his fans guessing about his Covid-19 vaccination status, adding to the uncertainty over whether he will compete in the major.

Djokovic’s father Srdjan recently said that Novak “probably won’t” play the Australian Open as the tournament organisers’ decision to not allow unvaccinated players — or players who don’t share their Covid-19 vaccination status — amounts to “blackmail”.

The Australian Open director Craig Tiley has stated that only fully vaccinated players will be allowed to compete in the tournament. Djokovic, the nine-time and defending Australian Open champion, has refused to divulge his vaccination status, or whether he intends to get vaccinated before the event.

West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell to join Melbourne Stars for Big Bash…

Djokovic celebrated his 350th week atop the ATP Rankings on Tuesday, extending his record for the most weeks in the top spot, even as the Serbian set sights on Germany’s women’s tennis great Steffi Graf’s record of 377 weeks at the top of the WTA rankings.

Among the other top players who have confirmed their participation in the ATP Cup for their respective countries are, Dominic Thiem, Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev.

The event will see four winning countries advance to the semifinals following the group stage.

Source: IANS


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here