Ritu Phogat wants rematch with Bi Nguyen to earn way back into Grand Prix

Singapore: Highly regarded women’s atomweight contender Ritu Phogat feels a rematch with Bi Nguyen is necessary to settle the score, after their bout in May ended in a close split decision in the Vietnamese-American’s favor.

“I would request ONE for a rematch, and then things will be very clear. I want a rematch against her. I just want to say that next time you’re going to face a very dangerous Ritu Phogat,” Phogat told ONE Championship in a recent video interview.

Phogat figured in a gruelling three-round battle with Nguyen at ONE: Dangal, a tape-delayed event that aired on May 15. “The Indian Tigress” banked on her wrestling, dominating early. But “Killer Bee” turned up the pressure in the final few minutes of the fight, showcasing her superior striking skills.

In the end, two of three judges scored the bout for Nguyen. It was a close fight that could have gone either way, but Phogat did not agree with the decision. “Bi Nguyen is a good fighter, and she has more experience than me. I knew that match was going to be amazing for the fans. I gave my 110 per cent in that match,” Phogat said in a release.

“The decision was quite shocking for me because I dominated for two rounds. I was surprised. I learned my lesson. I completely respect the decision, but I believe I won.”

Phogat maintains that she harbours no ill feelings towards Nguyen personally and that in the Circle, it’s all business. “We are good friends outside the ring. Whenever we meet, we always have a good, friendly conversation, and this friendship will always be there. Friendship and fighting are completely different things,” Phogat said.

Phogat is looking to be back in action soon. The 27-year-old rising star is currently in the thick of training camp. An opponent and a fight date have yet to be announced, but it appears that Phogat is already taking preparations seriously.