Ritu Phogat Rejoins World Grand Prix, Full ONE: EMPOWER Card Revealed

Aug 16, 2021

ONE Championship’s first all-women’s event has just gotten bigger.

The promotion will broadcast ONE: EMPOWER live on Friday, 3 September, and the full lineup has been completed with the addition of the lead card.

But also, there has been a major shakeup in the biggest women’s mixed martial arts tournament in history.

Pictures from the bout between Ritu Phogat and Lin Heqin at ONE: BATTLEGROUND

After losing her spot in the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix due to a narrow split-decision defeat in May, Ritu “The Indian Tigress” Phogat will rejoin the field.

Last month at ONE: BATTLEGROUND, the Indian wrestling megastar dominated previously ranked atomweight contender “MMA Sister” Lin Heqin and snapped the Chinese standout’s phenomenal 11-bout winning streak.

That unanimous decision victory has paved the way for Phogat to rejoin the biggest women’s mixed martial arts tournament in history.

She will replace Grace “Thai Kitten” Cleveland and now face #2-ranked Meng Bo – her original opponent – in the quarterfinal round at ONE: EMPOWER.

Japanese mixed martial arts star Mei Yamaguchi is in the Circle

Cleveland may no longer be in the tournament’s field of eight, but she can still earn a spot as an alternate in the World Grand Prix by winning her bout on ONE: EMPOWER’s lead card.

The undefeated Thai-American will meet the winner of the upcoming clash between Vietnamese-American star Bi “Killer Bee” Nguyen and Team Lakay’s Jenelyn Olsim, who will compete at ONE: BATTLEGROUND III on Friday, 27 August.

Also, former two-time ONE World Title challenger Mei “V.V” Yamaguchi will collide with Brazilian debutant Julie Mezabarba in the tournament’s second alternate bout.

Finally, Filipina-American phenom Jackie Buntan goes for her third straight promotional victory in the lead card’s headliner. However, she’ll need to fend off Argentinian debutant Daniela Lopez.

Take a look at the entire lineup for ONE: EMPOWER below.

Jackie Buntan fights Wondergirl Fairtex at ONE: FISTS OF FURY

Main Card

  • (c) Xiong Jing Nan vs. Michelle Nicolini (ONE Women’s Strawweight World Title)
  • Denice Zamboanga vs. Seo Hee Ham (Atomweight World Grand Prix Quarterfinal)
  • Alyona Rassohyna vs. Stamp Fairtex (Atomweight World Grand Prix Quarterfinal)
  • Meng Bo vs. Ritu Phogat (Atomweight World Grand Prix Quarterfinal)
  • Itsuki Hirata vs. Alyse Anderson (Atomweight World Grand Prix Quarterfinal)
  • Anissa Meksen vs. Cristina Morales (kickboxing – atomweight)

Lead Card

  • Jackie Buntan vs. Daniela Lopez (Muay Thai – strawweight)
  • Mei Yamaguchi vs. Julie Mezabarba (Atomweight World Grand Prix Alternate)
  • Grace Cleveland vs. Bi Nguyen/Jenelyn Olsim (Atomweight World Grand Prix Alternate)

Read more: Zhang Lipeng Challenges Shinya Aoki, Receives Cryptic Warning

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