Having several supporters to lean on will help Ritu “The Indian Tigres” Phogat ease her disappointment after losing the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix Championship Final to Stamp Fairtex.
Surprisingly, one of them is mixed martial arts superstar Conor McGregor, who has been vocal in supporting Indian fighters in the past, and continued to do so even after Phogat’s loss at ONE: WINTER WARRIORS on Friday, 3 December.
“Hard luck today Ritu Phogat! A setback for a greater comeback! Let’s go Ritu! Let’s go India! We march on!” McGregor said in his twitter account, @TheNotoriousMMA.
Phogat appreciated the support, telling the multi-time MMA World Champion that she will bounce back soon enough.
“Thank you so much for your love and support @TheNotoriousMMA. It means a lot. Shall come back stronger than ever,” the Indian wrestling star replied.
It was a forgettable night for Phogat, as she started off on the right foot only to drop the submission loss.
The 27-year-old managed to cut the distance between her and Stamp, effectively neutralizing the striking advantage of the former ONE Muay Thai and Kickboxing World Champion.
She enjoyed a dominant position for the majority of the match, but the Thai’s surprising submission maneuvers posed problems that ultimately led to her downfall.
Stamp locked in a triangle choke before transitioning to an armbar. Phogat desperately attempted to escape but was forced to tap out in the second round.
The Fairtex sensation scored her second submission victory, improved her MMA record to 8-1, and clinched a title shot against “Unstoppable” Angela Lee for the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Championship. Meanwhile, the setback ended the Haryana-born phenom’s three-fight win streak.
Despite the deflating defeat, Phogat showed no signs of grief. The decorated wrestling champion promises to be better than ever by coming back stronger.
“As a sportsperson, wins and losses are always part of the game. The most important thing is to rise back stronger after the fall. Yesterday was not my day, but I promise to every beautiful soul who is with me in my journey that I shall bounce back much stronger,” Phogat said.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank from bottom of my heart each and everyone who has been supporting me and sending their lovely wishes. You guys are my motivation. Also would like to thank my motherland for giving me the opportunity to represent her globally.”
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