Ritu Phogat is an Indian MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) athlete and former Freestyle Wrestler. She is the sister of the famous wrestlers, Geeta Phogat and Babita Phogat. She is a gold medalist in the 2016 Commonwealth Wrestling.
Ritu Phogat was born on Monday, 2 May 1994 (age 25 years; as in 2019) in Balali, Haryana. Her zodiac sign is Taurus. She started her training in wrestling under the guidance of her father, Mahavir Singh Phogat, when she was just 8 years old. Initially, she found the sport hard; as she had to wake up in the morning at 4 a.m., but eventually, she developed a passion for the sport. Ritu cleared her class 10 examination and subsequently, dropped out of school to concentrate on the sport. The Hindu
Height (approx.): 5’ 1”
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Family, Caste & Boyfriend
Ritu Phogat belongs to a Hindu Jat Family. Her father, Mahavir Singh Phogat, is an amateur wrestler & senior Olympics coach. Her mother, Shobha (Daya) Kaur is a homemaker. Her elder sisters, Geeta Phogat and Babita Phogat are wrestlers. Her younger sister, Sangeeta Phogat is also a wrestler. Ritu also has a younger brother named Dushyant Phogat (Modu).
Ritu Phogat started her career as a wrestler in 2011 in the 48 kg freestyle category. She made her international debut in 2014 by participating in the FILA Junior World Championships in Zagreb, Croatia. In October 2016, Ritu won her second consecutive title at the annual National Wrestling Championships.
Subsequently, she participated in the 2016 Commonwealth Wrestling Championship held in Singapore in the 48 kg category and bagged a Gold Medal. This was the turning point of her career.
In December 2016, Phogat became the most expensive female wrestler at the Pro Wrestling League auction leaving seasoned players like Sakshi Malik and Geeta Phogat behind. She bagged a price of Rs. 36 lakh to represent the Jaipur Ninjas franchise.
In November 2017, Ritu won a Silver in the World U-23 Wrestling Championship, which was held in Bydgoscz, Poland.
In February 2019, Ritu decided to quit wrestling and pursue a career in MMA. She signed up with ONE Championship and was quoted by InsideSport,
It is both an honour and a privilege to join ONE Championship, the best and biggest martial arts organization in the world. Wrestling will always be my first love, but I feel that it is time to expand my horizons.”
She further said,
I am excited to compete against the best mixed martial artists in the world and to bring glory and pride to my home country. I also look to prove that Indian martial arts is truly world-class. Thank you, ONE Championship, for the opportunity to share my talent on the global stage.”
Subsequently, she flew to Singapore and enrolled herself in the EVOLVE MAA organisation to receive the training on different martial art forms like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, Wrestling and Boxing.
On 16 November 2019, she made her MMA debut with the ONE Championship in which she played a match against Cindy Tiong, a veteran kickboxer from Malaysia.
- Junior Asia Championship Gold Medalist (2011)
- Cadet Asia Championship Gold Medalist (2011)
- Cadet World Championship Bronze Medalist (2011)
- Junior Asian Championship Bronze Medalist (2014)
- Junior World Wrestling Championship Silver Medalist (2014)
- Commonwealth Wrestling Gold Medalist (2016)
- World U-23 Wrestling Championship Silver Medalist (2017)
- Actor: Aamir Khan
- Actress: Sanjeeda Sheikh
- Musicians: Yo Yo Honey Singh, Justin Bieber
- Her hobbies include cooking and swimming.
- She is an ardent follower of the Iranian wrestling team.
- She is very particular about her fitness and follows a strict workout regimen.
- In 2016, a film titled “Dangal” was made by Aamir Khan, which was based on the story of her family.
- In 2017, she became the first Indian to win a silver at the World U-23 Wrestling Championship.
- Ritu considers her sisters, Geeta and Babita, her inspirations. Talking about them, she says,
Though both Geeta and Babita inspire me a lot, I really look up to Geeta. She is an inspiring figure. And, my other cousin sister Vinesh is close to my age and is also in the same weight category.”
- Her cousin, Vinesh Phogat, is a wrestler and a gold medalist at the Commonwealth Games. Her other cousin, Priyanka Phogat, is also an international level wrestler.
- Ritu revealed in an interview that the total time she dedicated to her game was close to six hours a day.
- Her breakfast consists of Juice, Curd, and an almond shake, which is prepared by her father.
- When asked about her interest in martial arts, Ritu says,
I used to watch martial arts on YouTube from 2012. I did not know where it is trained. But I would always ask myself, why India does not have a fighter here. This was always there in my head.”
- In an interview, when Ritu was asked if her family had supported her decision to join MMA, she said,
When I got the offer from them, I did not want to let go and I spoke to everyone in the family. They were very supportive.”
- In October 2019, Ritu Phogat set a two-year deadline to become India’s first MMA World Champion.
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