As the first Norwegian athlete to compete in ONE Championship, Anne “Ninja” Line Hogstad cannot wait to represent her nation on the global stage and put on a show against one of the brightest stars in Muay Thai.
The ISKA Muay Thai World Champion will square off against former ONE Atomweight Muay Thai World Title challenger Alma Juniku at ONE: FIRE AND FURY on Friday, 31 January, and she matches up perfectly with the Australian teenager.
Hogstad believes their mutual proclivity for trading heavy strikes will make for an intense battle.
“This will be an action-packed fight, we have both got a bit of the same style,” she offers.
“You can never plan out what it is going to take to win a fight because everything can happen, but I will not go to ONE Championship without putting all the effort I have in the fight, and I think that will be enough.”
The pair was originally slated to face off at ONE: MASTERS OF FATE in November, but an injury to the Australian postponed the encounter.
“Ninja” was initially disappointed because she was so eager to make an impression in The Home Of Martial Arts, but she believes the delay was a blessing in disguise.
The 32-year-old has enjoyed more time to sharpen her weapons for her first walk on the biggest platform of her career, which she hopes can help give the Muay Thai community in her homeland a shot in the arm.
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“Alma’s setback has given me more time to prepare for my fight with her. I am happy that she is okay now, and the fight is still on,” Hogstad offers.
“I’m the one girl from Norway that finally made it on to this big stage. I hope this will make a good road for the other up-and-coming fighters in Norway. It will definitely be a good, positive way to represent the sport.”
The best impression the Frontline Muay Thai athlete could make would be to win emphatically. However, Juniku proved she is a tough nut to crack who operates at the highest level when she pushed Stamp Fairtex to the limit in the closest bout of the two-Sport ONE World Champion’s career.
Hogstad is well aware of the WBC and IPCC Muay Thai World Champion’s skills, and has respect for them, but she also thinks she has the attributes to cause her a ton of problems.
“I like Alma’s style. She has a good Thai style, and that is what I prefer,” admits “Ninja.”
“She is explosive and combines her punches and kicks well, [but] everyone has gaps in their game, and I think that I am faster and a bit stronger than her.”
The Oslo-based star will not make any bold predictions, other than to let fans know that they must tune in when these two striking stars go at it because neither one will give less than 100 percent to get their hand raised.
“It’s going to be a good fight, this is a good match-up, but I’m aiming to get my hand raised up in the air,” Hogstad concludes.
“Prepare for atomweight action!”