The wrestling icon’s second bout in her new sport displayed her ability to dominate an opponent for a full 15 minutes over three rounds as she used her elite grappling skills to defeat “Miss Red” Wu Chiao Chen.
Phogat’s unanimous decision victory pushed her professional record to 2-0 to keep her on track toward her ambition of becoming her nation’s first ONE World Champion.
“This was my second step towards my goal in martial arts,” she says.
“I felt really good after the win. I’m more confident after this. Overall, I felt better about my performance compared to my previous match.
“I am happy. What I could not do in my last match, I did in this match. I am satisfied with my performance.”
The only thing “The Indian Tigress” was disappointed about was the lack of a knockout she had hoped for before she entered the Circle. In fact, the 25-year-old admits she could not get the finish because she found it difficult to execute the strategy she had planned.
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However, there were plenty of positives to take from the way she adapted to that and still managed to stay on the offensive for almost the entire contest – while she avoided danger from her rival.
“Whatever game plan for the match I had, it didn’t work,” she explains.
“It happens sometimes that what you think might not happen, but the important thing was to win, be it in any way… I am happy that I could control the entire match.”
Though “The Indian Tigress” did not get the stoppage she wanted, that should not take away from how impressive her success was given she made the transition to mixed martial arts little more than a year ago.
Plus, the Haryana native overcame an opponent with more experience who was incredibly difficult to break down, and Phogat is quick to credit Wu for the way she challenged her in Singapore.
“I have the utmost respect for all my opponents. She gave me a tough match. This will help me in my future matches,” she adds.
“You learn something from every match and I have learned a lot from this match. My coach told me that I could have finished the match, but overall, [my] performance was really good.”
Another big positive about this match was the addition of Phogat’s father – legendary wrestler and trainer, Mahavir Singh Phogat – to her corner team from Evolve.
“The Indian Tigress” is used to his coaching from years of instruction when she was younger, so she was delighted to have him on board at ONE: KING OF THE JUNGLE, even if he was his daughter’s harshest critic.
“It felt really great. When I went to the corner after the first round, my dad said, ‘Finish the match, why are you taking so much time?’ she laughs.
“I was feeling really proud to have him there with me.”
Now, with her perfect record intact and extra confidence from her extended time in the Circle, Phogat is looking forward to competing again as soon as possible.
She does not have a particular opponent in mind – she says she is only focused on her training, for now – but she has no fear about going into battle with any woman in The Home Of Martial Arts’ atomweight division.
“Whatever my coach says and whatever matches I get, I am ready,” she adds.