MMA: Unbeaten Indian star wary of skidding Torres


Posted at Dec 01 2020 04:07 PM

MMA: Unbeaten Indian star wary of skidding Torres 1
India's Ritu Phogat. Handout photo. 

MANILA, Philippines -- Jomary Torres has not won inside the ONE Circle since January 2018, but for India's Ritu Phogat, this is no reason to underestimate the Filipina mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter. 

Phogat (3-0) is looking to continue her superb run in ONE Championship when she faces Torres at ONE: Big Bang, which broadcasts live on Friday from the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore. 

The 26-year-old former Indian national wrestling champion is coming off a second-round stoppage of Cambodia's Nou Srey Pov just October at ONE: Inside the Matrix, and will have all the momentum on her side. 

"I feel good. It's important to maintain the momentum. I was able to compete again after eight months, so now I'm feeling great and super fit," said Phogat. "It's good to be back. I'm just lucky I can do what I love, so it's good for me."

In Torres, Phogat faces a Southeast Asian Games gold medalist in sambo who trains under the watchful eye of Filipino martial arts pioneer Rene Catalan. 

The 24-year-old Filipina burst into the MMA scene in 2016 and won her first three fights in ONE Championship, beginning with an upset of Rika Ishige in August 2017. But a setback to Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol in September 2018 started a downward spiral for Torres, who lost three more bouts since then. 

In her last fight in January, Torres settled for a no-contest against Jenny Huang.

"This match is going to be really good. Torres is really good, and it is going to be an interesting match," said Phogat. "Definitely, she is a good fighter."

Phogat said she has studied Torres' film and can see that the Filipina has a strong stand-up game.

"But I think my wrestling game is better," she added. "I am hoping that my ground game trumps her game."

"For the rest, let's see how it goes inside the Circle," Phogat said. "I hope that whoever is watching, they see me as doing something different. I would surely like to do something different this time."

"(Torres) is going to be a challenge for me. I have watched her fights, and she is good. I respect her a lot, but I trust my training and hard work."

ONE: Big Bang is the first of ONE Championship's live event offerings for December. 

The main event features a showdown between ONE light heavyweight kickboxing world champion Roman Kryklia of the Ukraine and challenger Murat Aygun of the Netherlands.

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