Ritu Phogat: Motivated by Khabib Nurmagomedov & inspired by Virat Kohli

By: Sports Desk |

Updated: October 21, 2020 10:12:41 pm

Ritu Phogat shifted to blended martial arts in 2019.

India’s Ritu Phogat is set to battle at the upcoming ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX against Cambodian MMA sensation Nou Srey Pov later this month. The wrestler turned MMA fighter shares insights on the build-up to the massive day, together with her eyes mounted on nothing however glory for the nation.

Q. How has the Covid-19 pandemic impacted your life? How have you ever managed coaching and so forth. and preserving a constructive psychological angle?

Yes, my coaching has clearly been impacted, particularly as a result of for me, MMA is a brand new sport. So it has been a difficult transition. I’m additionally dwelling in a brand new nation, Singapore, all by myself. So it has undoubtedly been exhausting as a result of the sport is new and the nation is new. Also, I don’t have my sisters round or my father to take recommendation from. However, throughout the lockdown when coaching was halted as a result of wrestling and grappling are contact sports activities, the coaches helped me by making coaching movies. But every part has slowly turn into higher now as a result of the lockdown has eased significantly in Singapore and now I’m figuring out and coaching on the fitness center. I’ve been engaged on bettering my placing approach as I wish to present the world that we Indians are ‘all rounders’. On area or off area!

But sure, it’s fairly unlucky that the pandemic has brought on issues for everybody around the globe.

Q. The Salman Khan film Sultan can also be a few wrestler changing into an MMA champion, do you relate to the movie?

I’ve truly not watched the movie. My purpose to foray into the MMA circle was to do one thing totally different and enhance myself. MMA remains to be not mainstream in India and it’s disheartening that there aren’t many MMA champions in India after I know we have now a surplus of expertise. I wish to Indian athletes to grasp the sheer scope of MMA and the recognition that MMA holds internationally. I needed to take this up as a problem.

Q. How are you preserving your morale up throughout such robust instances? Is there any explicit music you take heed to?

My motivation has all the time been my father and his phrases, he has all the time stated to me – You need to sacrifice to win one thing. My prime purpose is to make my household and my nation proud. I’m right here all by myself and I’ve left my nation behind, my sisters behind, therefore, my sole focus is on doing the most effective and that’s my motivation. I’ve to win the world championship belt. I don’t take heed to too many songs however after I do, I take heed to upbeat music whereas coaching and ghazals whereas I’ve some free time.

Q. What will probably be your participation in wrestling on behalf of India, will you be collaborating in wrestling matches now?

I’ve moved away from wrestling now and am now coaching in MMA.

Q. How do you handle stress?

I do yoga or watch motivational movies. But I usually don’t take a lot stress.

Q. Who are you dwelling with proper now?

I’ve been dwelling by myself now in Singapore for the previous one and half years and I’ve been persevering with my MMA coaching right here.

Q. How difficult will it’s to battle in an empty area? How will this expertise be? Also, what sort of food plan have you ever been following and who’s your inspiration?

My sisters have all the time been my inspiration. I’ve all the time watched them wrestle and I’ve tried to emulate them, and now I wish to make my nation proud within the Mixed Martial Arts house.

Ritu Phogat competes within the ONE Championship.

Yes, no viewers within the stadium will certainly really feel totally different as crowds can present motivation and cheer. But after I step into the ring, my sole focus is my opponent. Besides, an empty stadium means that you could hear nothing however your coach, guiding you thru the match.

My food plan has modified rather a lot. Back dwelling in India, I had entry to pure home made meals and proteins, however since my transfer to Singapore, I’ve needed to embody dietary supplements, multivitamins and protein powders in my food plan. I comply with a strict food plan schedule that my coach has offered me with.

Q. How did you get the title “Indian Tigress”?

During my wrestling days, many individuals used to say that the second I put my thoughts to one thing whether or not it was within the wrestling ring or outdoors, I’d simply go for it like a decided tigress! Hence, I bought this title – the Indian Tigress.

Q. What do you suppose India’s place will probably be within the upcoming Olympics?

I strongly consider that Indians are actually elevating the benchmark with each match/recreation we play. Today, we’re robust rivals to a few of the best athletes internationally. Our athletes are working exhausting and I really feel that we’ll absolutely do effectively on the Olympics.

Q. What will your technique be whereas taking part in towards your opponent Nou Srey Pov on the 30th of October?

She is an skilled MMA champion and will probably be a troublesome and fascinating battle between the each of us. I’m prepared and have labored extraordinarily exhausting for this. I’m prepared to offer it my greatest! And so far as methods are involved, I’d need every one in all you to tune in and watch a few of the methods I deploy towards the opponent.

Q. What different facets of the sport have you ever labored on as a result of solely wrestling strategies should not enough?

Yes completely, I’ve been engaged on perfecting numerous different strategies however wrestling has shaped the bedrock of numerous my efforts in MMA. Moves like take-down are very straightforward for me. Initially, I had numerous bother with placing and jujitsu, however now I’ve improved all of this and you will note this in my match on the 30thof Oct.

Q. You needed to be the primary Indian to win an MMA world title. How shut are you to that dream? Also what units you aside from different Indian fighters? What are the weaknesses of your opponent that you’ve studied?

I’m not removed from my dream of bagging the world championship title in MMA as a result of I’ve been working exhausting for a very long time now. One Championship has additionally introduced a Grand Prix match subsequent 12 months which can characteristic eight champions. My goal is to get chosen for that match though my first focus is my upcoming match. My opponent is an efficient fighter and I’ve studied her strengths and weaknesses, you will note it in my match!

Q. What are you doing to advertise MMA in India?

My purpose is to win and make MMA in style in India firstly. India is just not quick on expertise. I simply wish to be an inspiration in order that others method MMA extra severely. I wish to induce conversations across the sport within the nation to offer it the popularity it deserves.

Q. Your earlier bouts have been comparable wins, what’s going to you do in another way this time. What are your expectations from this bout?

Yes, I’ve labored on a distinct technique to win this time. I wish to win this match somewhat in another way. My purpose this time will probably be to knockout my opponent.

Q. What recommendation would you give girls who wish to take up MMA sports activities?

My recommendation to anybody could be to work exhausting and have a large amount of dedication, it doesn’t matter what the game is.

Q. What ought to your psychological state be like when in a battle?

You need to be mentally sturdy, this is essential for athletes. This is why I meditate to maintain my thoughts sturdy.

Q. You’re referred to as ‘the female Khabib Nurmagomedov’ by Indian followers because you’re each a world class wrestler and are undefeated. Have you seen him battle?

Yes, I’ve been very motivated by him and I watch numerous his movies. I like his preventing model rather a lot and I’m inspired by him. I aspire to be like him some day.

Q. Have you drawn any explicit classes from Khabib Nurmagomedov?

Yes, his management on the bottom is immense. I maintain watching his movies to study extra.

Ritu Phogat earlier than a match. (Source: One Championship)

Q. What has been your father’s response to your transfer to MMA?

My father and sisters have been very supportive. All my father informed me is that, it doesn’t matter what the sport is, I’ve to all the time make my nation proud. Let your purpose all the time be glory to the nation.

Q. There is that this one explicit recommendation your father provides you for a match, what’s that recommendation?

My father all the time says to pack sufficient energy in a single punch in order that the opponent is immediately knocked out and can’t rise up in any respect. Basically, pack as a lot energy in each punch!

Q. MMA is quick gaining reputation in India, what do you suppose is fuelling this?

I feel it’s as a result of the media is protecting this extra. Earlier, individuals didn’t actually find out about MMA, however with altering instances, an increasing number of individuals in India are attending to know in regards to the sports activities in blended martial arts however there’s room for lots extra consciousness.

Q. How has staying away from your loved ones been and the way a lot assist does your loved ones present?

Ofcourse, staying away from my household has been very tough. At dwelling, I may solely deal with my coaching, right here, since I’m by myself, I’ve to handle my strict food plan and coaching and every part else at dwelling, I’ve to be independent.

Q. What is the one lesson out of your sports activities life that you just use in your private life?

Discipline. If we aren’t disciplined, we can not obtain something.

Q. What is your message to Indians to remain match throughout this lockdown?

Out of 24 hours, I’d advise everybody to take out simply 30 minutes and follow Yoga. Even doing family chores helps. Yoga and meditation are the most effective choices.

Q. What do you do in your leisure time, whenever you’re not coaching, as it is vitally essential on your psychological well being and peace?

On Sundays when I’m not coaching, I make some totally different dish to eat and make amends for family chores. I make a dessert like a kheer or one thing.

Q. What is the preparation you undertake 24 hours earlier than the match?

I’m normally very excited earlier than the match and don’t take any stress. I image my opponent and picture the battle in my thoughts.

Q. Which one factor do you wish to strike out out of your life?

Nothing. I feel it’s good as is.

Ritu Phogat will tackle Cambodia’s Nou Srey Pov subsequent. (Source: File)

Q. When you miss dwelling who’s the one particular person you name and converse to? Any fascinating conversations you could have had which have boosted your psychological toughness?

I’d have by no means reached this stage with out the assistance and assist of my household. I miss my older sister and her child probably the most. If I’m ever harassed or apprehensive, I don’t normally inform my mother and father and household as a result of they are going to get apprehensive unnecessarily.

Q. Apart out of your sisters, which different sports activities personalities are your icons?

Virat Kohli is absolutely inspiring, I like watching his coaching movies. Also, like I stated, Khabib may be very inspirational for me.

Q. What is your day by day coaching routine?

I start coaching at 9:30 am after which I’ve courses until afternoon. I additionally take further courses throughout the week as a result of I’m new to the game and I wish to study extra.

Q. Do you like every explicit spot or location in Singapore?

I’m not a lot of an explorer and love the peace and tranquility of my dwelling.

Q. How have you ever labored on making your MMA recreation higher?

There are many individuals who assist me sharpen my abilities on a regular basis. My coach and different champions are serving to me too. Some have even turn into like older sisters. I’ve been getting numerous assist and steering from lots of people out right here and I’m grateful.

Q. How do you wish to win this battle, do you wish to do one thing in another way?

Yes, I undoubtedly wish to escape of my wrestling mould and do one thing totally different. I need individuals and my opponents to know that I’m not only a wrestler and I understand how to strike.

Q. Do excessive expectations have an effect on you?

No, probably not. In truth, I get motivated resulting from excessive expectations and prepare tougher. If persons are rooting for me, I need to not allow them to down!

Q. A variety of girls in India don’t get encouragement to take up sports activities, what’s going to you inform them?

I urge mother and father to assist their daughters as a result of they deserve the prospect to characterize their nation and make everybody proud. With exhausting work and dedication, anybody can obtain greatness.

Q. Dangal was primarily based on your loved ones’s story, if there’s ever a biopic made in your life, which Bollywood actor would you select to play your character?

I feel I wish to play myself within the movie! Because nobody is aware of my battle and journey higher than myself!

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