On February 25, 2019, Evolve MMA announced that Ritu Phogat, 24, of India is officially a member of the EVOLVE Fight Team. The next day, ONE Championship confirmed that the women’s wrestling sensation has signed to a multiple-bout contract.
“At ONE Championship, we are constantly on the lookout for the world’s greatest martial arts talents, especially in Asia,” ONE Championship chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong stated. “Women’s wrestling sensation Ritu Phogat embodies the true values of martial arts and is a great fit for our organization. I would like to personally welcome Ritu to the ONE Championship family. I’m excited to share Ritu’s story with the world and to showcase Indian martial arts at the highest level, on the biggest global stage of martial arts competition in ONE Championship.”
For Phogat, who is making her mixed martial arts debut, it is both an honor and a privilege to join ONE Championship, which she described as the best and biggest martial arts organization in the world. She said, “Wrestling will always be my first love but I feel that it is time to expand my horizons.”
“I am excited to compete against the best mixed martial artists in the world and to bring glory and pride to my home country,” the Indian wrestling star added. “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.”
Phogat is a champion wrestler and top women’s mixed martial arts prospect who hails from India. She comes from a family of martial artists and began training in wrestling at the age of eight under the guidance of her father Mahavir Singh Phogat. Ritu is a Commonwealth Wrestling Championships Gold Medalist, World U23 Wrestling World Championships Silver Medalist, Asian Wrestling Championships Bronze Medalist, and multiple-time Indian National Wrestling Champion.
Hailing from Haryana, India, Phogat is widely-regarded as one of India’s top sports superstars and one of the most talented wrestlers in the world. Her sisters Geeta, Babita Kumari Phogat and Sangeeta Phogat and their cousin Vinesh Phogat are also wrestling champions.
In 2016, Ritu bagged a gold medal at the Commonwealth Wrestling Championship held in Singapore. In 2017, she took home India’s first silver medal at the prestigious World U23 Wrestling Championships held in Poland. In 2018, she placed fifth at the Wrestling World Championships.
Meanwhile, here is a clip featuring Ritu: