Ritu Phogat says being MMA fighter helps empower other women

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New Delhi: India ace wrestler Ritu Phogat believes that her experience as a female MMA fighter has helped her to inspire and empower other women.

With a 7-2 career MMA record, the fighter feels her successes transcend beyond personal acclaim. Instead, she gets to teach women that if they put their minds to it and work hard enough, they can achieve anything.

“I get to show the world that women can also fight and break a few bones when necessary and that women aren’t any less than men,” Phogat said. “But on a more optimistic note, being a female [fighter] helps me empower other women who may not have the (same) privileges as me.”

As a fighter who constantly seeks new challenges, she left wrestling and delved into mixed martial arts by joining ONE Championship in 2019.

As she gains unwavering support from the people who believe in her, Phogat uses her platform to achieve her goals and spark inspiration in those who would like to embrace MMA.

“This is my chance to inspire millions of young girls and women not just back home in India but all across the world who wish to take up MMA as a sport. I wish to inspire all the young women there through my journey and show them how it must be done,” the 27-year-old said.

With One Championship becoming a supportive haven for women, Phogat reminded fans that they too can uphold the dignity for female fighters.

“When a female player or fighter loses, fans or lovers of the sport start commenting on the gender of the person and forget that it is important to be dignified. Many times, fans take to social media after a female fighter they support suffered a loss and comment on extremely derogatory things that can play on a sports person’s mind and psyche,” Phogat reminded.

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“This can be extremely detrimental to the female sportsperson involved and could lead them to give up. I feel that, as fans, they should be supportive and cheer for the female fighters and help them come back stronger,” she said. (ANI)

first published:March 12, 2022, 5:23 p.m.

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