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5 fast facts about India's 'Knockout Queen,' Asha Roka

Ahead of this month's ONE 157 event, learn a little more about the Indian atomweight.
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Asha "Knockout Queen" Roka (4-2) plans to live up to her moniker on Friday, May 20.

That evening, the Indian striker squares off against American sensation Alyse "Lil' Savage" Anderson in an atomweight mixed martial arts contest at "ONE 157: Petchmorakot vs. Vienot," which broadcasts live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Roka has four wins in her professional career, with all of them ending less than two minutes into the opening frame. That said, if the Bhopal resident has it her way come fight night, she'll add another quick first-round victory to her resume.

Ahead of her showdown with Anderson, discover these five interesting facts about India's "Knockout Queen."

1. She's a decorated boxer

Roka's journey into the world of combat sports came through boxing. She started learning "the sweet science" when she was 11 years old. Soon after, she tested her skills in competition and became quite decorated on the amateur level.

"Knockout Queen" earned gold medals in the sub-junior national boxing championships in 2010, 2011, and 2012, a bronze medal in the junior boxing world championship in 2012, a gold in the 2nd Nations Cup international sub-junior boxing tournament in 2013, and a bronze in the AIBA women's youth and junior world championship in 2013, too.

After that, India banned amateur boxing for three years. But when an opportunity to turn pro came along, Roka jumped at the chance.

"I got an offer, and I agreed to it without thinking twice," she said. "My professional boxing record was four wins and one draw."

2. Her sports hero is Mary Kom

As a boxer, Roka looked up to her legendary compatriot, Mary Kom.

Kom is a six-time AIBA women's world champion and earned a bronze medal in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, England.

So, when Roka got to meet her sports hero, it was a moment she truly treasured.

"My inspiration is Mary Kom," Roka said. "She has been a world champion six times and has won a medal in the Olympics, too. That's a huge achievement. She inspires me a lot. I had received an award from her during an award ceremony."

3. Her MMA debut lasted a total of 9 seconds

Roka made her professional MMA debut in January 2017, but her walk to the cage took much longer than the match itself.

The Indian squared off against veteran Angela Pink at a show in New Delhi. When the bell rang, Roka dropped her rival with a left hook, stood over her, and unloaded a plethora of right hands before the referee waved off the action.

"Knockout Queen" earned the TKO in nine seconds, and it remains an unforgettable career highlight.

"That was the first fight in my professional career," she said. At that time, you are full of passion and want to win at any cost. I didn't have any idea that this game was so technical."

4. She trains with ONE's Indian veterans

Iron sharpens iron, so Roka trains with some other ONE Championship veterans to help bring each other's skill sets to the next level.

The 23-year-old frequently fine-tunes her game with fellow Indian atomweight Puja "The Cyclone" Tomar and strawweight Himanshu Kaushik.

Roka helps with their boxing, and they tighten her kicking and grappling.

"Whenever we get time, we do train together," she said. "I have good punches, so I tell them about how to throw punches. Their kicks and takedowns are better, so they tell me about their techniques. They share their experience with me."

5. She enjoys the mountains

When Roka isn't training for her fights in the gym, she enjoys unwinding in the great outdoors. Simply put, the Indian loves discovering new places and being one with nature.

Ahead of her showdown with Anderson on May 20, "Knockout Queen" said, "I like trekking and camping a lot. If I have to choose between going to the beach or mountains, I would choose the latter."

This story first published at ONE FC.com.