“I want to knock her out”

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Ritu Phogat is regarded as one of the finest grapplers in mixed martial arts, but she won’t mind letting her hands go when she welcomes Tiffany Teo into the women’s atomweight division.

The Indian star will battle the former ONE women’s strawweight world title challenger at ONE 161: Petchmorakot vs. Tawanchai on September 29 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Phogat wants nothing more than to get back to the win column and she feels an emphatic win over Teo would push her closer to a shot at the ONE women’s atomweight world title.

In an interview with ONE Championship, Phogat said Teo would be the perfect opponent for her to show her improved striking. She added that she’ll show the world that she’s fully capable of knocking the cobwebs out of people and not just relying on her wrestling during matches.

“I have tried to improve my striking in the last three-to-four months, and I will try my best to showcase my boxing and striking against her. I want to knock her out and show the world that they have seen my wrestling and ground game, but I can finish by striking too.”

Phogat was on a three-fight winning streak before the final of the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix. Her run, however, ended when she lost via submission to Stamp Fairtex at ONE: Winter Warriors in December 2021.

Although she’s favored a grind-out style in her past few fights, ‘The Indian Tigress’ was a headhunter in the first half of her ONE Championship career. Phogat has seven wins inside the Circle and three of those were knockout victories against Nam Hee Kim, Nou Srey Pov, and Jomary Torres.

Teo, meanwhile, has elite levels in both Brazilian jiu-jitsu and boxing. The Singaporean star has four finishes in ONE Championship with three coming by way of submission and one by way of KO.

Ritu Phogat and Tiffany Teo’s interesting history

The match between Ritu Phogat seems to have been one that stemmed back to the start of the year.

Teo, after submitting Meng Bo at ONE: Heavy Hitters in January 2022, told ONE Championship that she’s willing to go down to atomweight and Ritu Phogat was the first fighter she thought of.

“I would love to [fight Ritu Phogat]. I think that would be a great matchup. I think [in terms of grappling] we’re pretty much on par. I think Ritu makes sense for now at atomweight. We both just got our win against the same girl [Meng Bo] so that should be fun.”

Fast forward to nearly nine months later, and the two fighters are finally scheduled to face each other inside the Circle.

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Author: ntotb

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