Atomweight mixed martial artist Asha Roka has been awaiting another opportunity to prove herself inside the ONE Championship Circle, and she’ll get her shot when she faces American standout Alyse “Lil’ Savage” Anderson at ONE 157: Petchmorakot vs. Vienot on Friday, 20 May.
The Indian Boxing Champion has been away from action for almost two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but she has remained focused on her goals and is now eager to make her fans proud.
“It’s tough to step into the Circle after a huge gap because we must get ready according to the upcoming fight. The gyms were closed all this while, and so I was unable to train. This leads to uncertainty, and it can demotivate any athlete,” Roka said ahead of her showdown in the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
“I would just like to say [to my Indian fans], please keep supporting me, like you were. I will try to give my best. I will give my 100 percent and will look to maintain my nickname, ‘Knockout Queen.’”
Roka earned her moniker after scoring a nine-second knockout in 2017. The four-fight win streak that followed that victory caught the attention of ONE, and she debuted in the promotion in 2019 against Stamp Fairtex.
The Thai sensation proved too much for the Indian-Nepalese debutant, and her second fight on the global stage against Filipina star Gina Iniong also didn’t go her way. But Roka has reflected on both losses while preparing for her upcoming battle, and she is certain she has learned her lesson.
“I watched my old fights and realized that I must work a lot on my ground game. I must win this fight, so pressure is there. I am working hard to win this match,” Roka said.
Earning a victory against Anderson won’t come easy, but one win can change the trajectory of a career, and “Knockout Queen” is determined to showcase what made her famous in the first place.
“I always try for a knockout. My last two opponents were great fighters because of the experience under their belt. To compete against Alyse Anderson, I will have to give my best and try to punch well so that I can get a knockout win,” she said.
Download the ONE Super App to catch all the action at ONE 157: Petchmorakot vs. Vienot on Friday, 20 May, at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.