Ludhiana, Jan 24 (CNMSPORTS): Defending champions Punjab Royals defeated debutants MP Yodha 4-3 to claim their second consecutive win in the Pro Wrestling League (PWL) Season 4 here on Wednesday.
World championships silver medallist Bajrang Punia engineered the turning point of the tie when he prevailed over reigning European champion Haji Aliyev 8-6 in a dramatic power-packed 65 kg category bout full of aggression.
This was Bajrang's second win in a decider this season.
Before that, world championships bronze medallist Pooja Dhanda won the crucial sixth bout of the evening 9-3 against Mimi Hristova in the female 57 kg category to keep MP Yodha alive in the tie.
Earlier, the former European championships bronze medallist Dato Magarishvili gave Punjab Royals an early lead overcoming the 2017 Commonwealth Championships gold medallist Deepak of MP Yodha 10-0 in a one-sided encounter in the 86 kg category.
In a major upset, Khelo India Youth Games gold medallist Punjab Royals' Anju defeated the 2017 Commonwealth Championships gold medal winner Ritu Phogat 6-4 in an exciting encounter to put the defending champions 2-0 ahead in the tie.
It was 3-0 in favour of Punjab Royals after the 2018 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Korey Jarvis of Canada clinched the 125 kg super heavyweight bout against the upcoming Indian wrestler Akash Antil of MP Yodha 6-0.
MP Yodha's European Championships silver medallist Elise Monolova held on to a late onslaught by Punjab Royals' Anita to win the women's 62 kg bout 3-2 and bring the PWL debutant MP Yodha back into the tie.
Sandeep Tomar showed glimpses of his past as he overcame an intense challenge from Punjab Royals' Nitin Rathi 3-2 in the men's 57 kg category and keep MP Yodha alive in the tie making it 2-3 after the fifth bout.