One Championship Atomweight Grand Prix final: Ritu Phogat loses to Stamp Fairtex

Thailand’s Fairtex beat 'The Indian Tigress' in the final of the ONE Championship's Atomweight Grand Prix to set up a title clash with reigning champion Angela Lee next year.

FP Sports December 03, 2021 23:35:38 IST
One Championship Atomweight Grand Prix final: Ritu Phogat loses to Stamp Fairtex

In this photograph taken on on 12 February, 2020, Indian mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Ritu Phogat poses for a picture during an interview with AFP, in New Delhi. AFP File

Thailand’s Stamp Fairtex beat 'The Indian Tigress' Ritu Phogat in the final of the ONE Championship's Atomweight Grand Prix to set up a title clash with reigning champion Angela Lee next year.

According to an ESPN report, Fairtex, a striking specialist, used her takedown defence brilliantly to catch Phogat in an arm bar from which there was no escape. The Indian tapped out almost immediately, two minutes into the second round.

The two fighters had gone into the match with identical records, 7-1, but one looked much more nervous than the other.

Discussing the strengths and weaknesses of the two fighters and making her prediction ahead of the bout, Vietnamese-American atomweight Bi “Killer Bee” Nguyen, who has faced both Phogat and Fairtex in the past, had said that the Thai fighter was the more dangerous and "well-rounded" of the two.

“I believe Stamp (Fairtex) is more dangerous now. She has improved on the ground immensely. Ritu (Phogat) has done well, but I believe Stamp has become more well-rounded," Nguyen had said.

The Indian wrestler-turned-MMA fighter Phogat, who is currently ranked fourth, had overcome a spirited effort from Grand Prix alternate Jenelyn Olsim to win by unanimous decision in the semi-final round of the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix, while Fairtex had defeated Julie Mezabarba by a unanimous decision in her semi-final round.

In early 2019, the two-time junior world silver medallist in wrestling Ritu traded the mat for the cage and shifted to Singapore. “I want to be the first Indian world champion in MMA,” she had declared.

However, with this defeat Phogat's current challenge for MMA glory has ended. It is time for her to regroup and go again in 2022.

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