Asha Roka Says She Can Knock Out Or Submit Stamp Fairtex
One of the most hotly anticipated promotional debuts will take place at ONE: DREAMS OF GOLD this Friday, August 16, when Asha “Knockout Queen” Roka steps up to the global stage.
The rising Indian star will face two-sport ONE World Champion Stamp Fairtex on her return to mixed martial arts, but anyone who expects the Thai hero to get an easy ride in front of her home fans in Bangkok could be in for a shock.
Roka is undefeated across two sports, exciting to watch, and already one of her country’s biggest martial arts stars.
The 20-year-old from Bhopal has built a reputation for sensationally fast starts, as all four of her professional contests have ended inside the opening round.
Famously, her pro debut concluded with a KO after just nine seconds, and she would not be surprised if her first contest on the global stage ends the same way.
“When I go into the ring, all I think about is hitting my opponent,” says Roka.
“Maybe my punches are so powerful that they get knocked out quickly. I think it’s because of my boxing background that I get such results most of the time.”
It was her history in “the sweet science” that first brought Roka to prominence. She has a history as a national champion and Women’s Junior World Boxing Championships bronze medalist.
Her 7-0 record in the pro ranks shows her skill with her hands and solidifies her status as a dangerous power puncher – she finished one of her matches in just seven seconds.
The Positron gym representative will face a serious test of her stand-up skills when she meets Stamp in a women’s atomweight three-rounder.
Stamp made her name in Muay Thai and went on to win gold in “the art of eight limbs” as well as kickboxing.
As she resumes her quest to add a third World Title to her collection, many of her weapons will translate well into the Circle, but Roka is not fazed by her opponent thanks to her training camp at Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket.
“I came all the way from India to Thailand to learn how to fight with knees and elbows, how to clinch and maneuver,” she says.
“Stamp is a really good athlete. She is very good at stand-up as she is a Muay Thai and kickboxing champion. Her speed is also good, but I feel she does not have as much power as I do. Once I punch her, she will feel it for a long time.”
But while she is a classically trained striker, do not imagine that the “Knockout Queen” lacks the grappling skills to make her a well rounded mixed martial artist.
Her ground game is already dangerous and has continued to evolve through her preparation for 16 August, so she is confident whether a bout stays standing or goes to the canvas.
“My boxing background does not mean I haven’t finished fights on the ground. I am quite good on the ground as well, because I have finished two fights with submissions,” she says.
“It depends on my opponent. If my opponent is an expert in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, I try to make her fight standing up. Or if my opponent is weak on the ground, I try to take her down.”
Roka is under no illusions that Stamp will be her toughest opponent to date, but she is still confident that she can be beaten.
The Thai star may have experience of 82 Muay Thai and kickboxing bouts, but she is still a novice in mixed martial arts, and her Indian rival is keen to take advantage of that.
“All my previous opponents were knocked out by me very badly, so I think my future opponents may get scared of my punches, but Stamp is such a good fighter that I’m sure she won’t get knocked out that quickly,” she says.
“I am not sure about her ground game, though, but I am very confident about my own ground game. If I am able to get her to the ground, I am sure to finish the fight.”