Still, in its nascent stage, the Indian Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is yet to witness a star moment. One of India’s most prominent wrestlers is swapping the mat for the red and blue ring. It is none other than Ritu Phogat, one of the famed Phogat sisters, who has decided to bid adieu to wrestling for MMA.
BREAKING NEWS: Wrestling Champion Ritu Phogat @PhogatRitu has officially joined the EVOLVE Fight Team! She is a Commonwealth Wrestling Championships Gold Medalist, U23 World Championships Silver Medalist, Asian Wrestling Championships Bronze Medalist, & Indian National Champion. pic.twitter.com/A14hWq0Olq— Evolve MMA (@EvolveMMA) February 26, 2019
The Commonwealth Wrestling gold medallist has officially joined EVOLVE, considered one of Asia’s best and the world’s most decorated MMA academies.
Hours after the EVOLVE’s announcement, it was also announced later that Ritu has been signed by ONE Championship, Asia’s biggest MMA promotion.
As a result of the decision to switch the sport, Phogat will have to shift bases from India to Singapore where the fight team is currently based.
What Ritu Phogat Said
“I’m excited to have moved to Singapore to begin my new journey in mixed martial arts as a member of the EVOLVE Fight Team. My managers Birbal Sports introduced me to Evolve & convinced me that this is the future,” Phogat said.
“It’s both an honour and a privilege to join ONE Championship, the best & the biggest martial arts organization in the world. Wrestling will always be my first love, but I feel that it is time to expand my horizons.”
“I’m excited to compete against the best mixed martial artists in the world & to bring glory & pride to my country.I also look to prove that Indian martial arts is truly world-class.”
“Thank you, ONE Championship, for the opportunity to share my talent on the global stage,” she added.
Ritu Phogat’s Wrestling Journey
Ritu is part of the famous Phogat sister squad that includes Geeta, Babita, Priyanka, Vinesh, Ritu, and Sangita Phogat. Ritu had a promising 2018 as the 24-year-old finished 5th at the 2018 Wrestling World Championships.
Ritu has also been part of such prestigious events like the Wrestling World Championships, Asian Wrestling Championships, Commonwealth Wrestling Championships, Yasar Dogu International, and the Pro Wrestling League.
In fact, she was the most expensive female player at last year’s Pro Wrestling League auction.
What is EVOLVE MMA
However, she’ll be making a dramatic shift in the career by joining EVOLVE MMA where she will be introduced to the new arts of fighting such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai and boxing.
EVOLVE has the distinction of producing some of the most successful and popular fighters in the world. These include the likes of former UFC Lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos, Shinya Aoki and Ben Askren.
Chatri Sityodtong, who owns Asia’s biggest fighting promotion ONE Championship, is also the owner of EVOLVE MMA.