Two of India’s top female fighters are training together and appear to have become firm friends. Ritu Phogat and Puja Tomar were pictured side by side at a gym in their homeland.
Ritu is clearly the bigger star. Bollywood movies have been made about her family and their exploits in the wrestling world and she was a household name in India well before she signed with ONE Championship.
Phogat’s stock rose after she reached the final of the ONE Championship Grand Prix last year. But the 28 year old is coming off back to back losses which have seen her slip out of the atomweight rankings.
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By contrast Tomar has completely turned her career around since being released by ONE Championship. She is the reigning Matrix Fight Night strawweight champion and has won three fights in a row.
At Matrix Fight Night 10 she stopped Bi Nguyen in the second round to become the promotion’s inaugural strawweight champion. Her and Phogat have no fewer than three opponents in common.
Tomar has fought Nguyen twice, losing by split decision in a Muay Thai fight but beating her in their recent MMA bout. Phogat has fought her once and suffered the first loss of her entire MMA career.
The Inaugural Women’s Strawweight title fight was a firecracker between Puja Tomar, AKA ‘The Cyclone’ and Bi Nguyen, AKA ‘Killer Bee”. 🔥🔥
— Matrix Fight Night (@mfn_mma) January 9, 2023
Tomar only won one of her four MMA fights for ONE Championship with that victory coming by way of split decision. But since returning to her homeland to fight for Matrix Fight Night she is undefeated.
She made her debut on the now defunct Super Fight League back in 2013 and didn’t start to enjoy sustained success until nearly a decade into her MMA career. By contrast Phogat was launched straight into the limelight after being invited to join the Evolve MMA fight team in 2019.
Phogat was swiftly snapped up by ONE Championship and won her first four fights for the promotion. They are clearly India’s top pound for pound mixed martial artists at the moment and the two female fighters appear to have joined forces.