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Mixed Martial Arts

Phogat sees fear in Stamp ahead of ONE GP Final

Ritu “The Indian Tigress” Phogat feels confident about her considerable edge against Stamp Fairtex coming into the highly-anticipated ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix Championship Final at ONE: Winter Warriors.

The Indian wrestling sensation senses that the no. 2-ranked contender is nervous. And she plans to exploit that when they clash this Friday at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

“I definitely saw fear in her eyes, and I don’t blame her for being afraid to face me,” the no. 4-ranked atomweight said regarding their face-to-face staredown.

“If I was in her shoes, I would be too, since she has witnessed my wrestling proficiency and stand-up improvements from close quarters. But I will give her credit for trying to put on a brave face for the fans. However, I saw right through the facade.”

Phogat’s confidence in her wrestling stems from the fact that she has been doing it for pretty much all of her life. As an amateur, the fighter from Evolve MMA won a gold medal in the 2016 Commonwealth Wrestling Championship. She then took silver in the World U23 Championships the year after.

“The Indian Tigress” was expected to represent her country in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics but ultimately changed course to focus on mixed martial arts. A win here in the historic Grand Prix final would only further vindicate her decision to move to the discipline.

“Stamp Fairtex has never faced an opponent with my wrestling credentials and pedigree. I have developed my wrestling game by learning the craft over a period that spans over a decade and a half,” she said.

“I do not believe that a single training camp would bring Stamp to my level of expertise as far as wrestling is concerned. She would have to dedicate a considerable chunk of her life to wrestling to match steps with me.”

Many people believe things could go the other way if the match stays within Stamp’s territory, the striking game. But while the Haryana-born warrior is wary of the Thai’s prowess in that department, she’s not sure if she’s indeed facing the best striker in the division.

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The Singapore-based fighter is certain that she can weather whatever storm she faces against Stamp on the feet. She also believes she will prevail because of her grappling.

“I can’t comment on whether she is the definitive best striker in the division. But I would definitely say that she’s one of the better strikers out there,” the 27-year-old said. “My team and I are mindful of her strengths and weaknesses and are strategizing and training accordingly.”

She added, “During the fight, if she does land a lucky blow, I will do what I do best: play my trump card, and gain control over her. My strategies to tackle my opponent are different this time around, although I will have to be tight-lipped about it for now.

“I am supremely confident that my battle-tested endurance, well-roundedness, and superior fight IQ will prevail, despite the weapons in her arsenal.”

Catch ONE: Winter Warriors LIVE on One Sports or One Sports+ at 8:30 PM, Philippine Standard Time (PHT) on Friday.

It will also air simultaneously on ONE’s YouTube channel and the ONE Super App.

Read More From ONE Championship:

Jarred Brooks Announces His Arrival With Domination Of Lito Adiwang

Ramazanov Stuns Pongsiri With First-Round Knockout

Alex Silva’s Trademark Armbar Bests Rene Catalan Again

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