Skip to main content

Alyse Anderson in reactivated 'gangsta mode,' motivated to bounce back big at ONE 157

The American rising star is ignoring the critics and focusing on her MMA showdown with Asha Roka this Friday.

After a tough setback, Alyse Anderson (5-2) doesn’t plan to make the same mistakes again.

The American fell to Japanese star Itsuki Hirata in a hard-fought promotional debut, and she believes that experience will lead to a different result against Asha Roka (4-2) in their atomweight MMA showdown at "ONE 157: Petchmorakot vs. Vienot" this Friday.

Stepping into the ONE circle for the first time can be daunting, but with those jitters out of the way, "Lil' Savage" intends to showcase more of her skills at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

"I was so nervous (against Hirata)," she said. "I really hesitated in the first two rounds. It even got to the point where I engaged in grappling when I should have been more confident in my striking because I was having success (on the feet). 

"As soon as I used my striking in the third round, you saw it come together more (with a knockdown). So I think now that I've experienced that and I'm taking the experience into this next fight, I'll be more comfortable from the start, and it won't take me time to get going."

Anderson is also approaching her upcoming contest with a different attitude.

The 27-year-old has been open about her social anxiety issues, which can make it difficult to deal with critics and doubters.

However, she's learned to flip the switch to a mindset she calls "gangsta mode" – and that means ignoring all the outside noise during fight camp.

"Honestly, it's just mostly been not caring about what other people think so much and just listening to your body and listening to what you need," Anderson said. "I think that really helped a lot because I'm just staying focused, staying in gangsta mode, and not letting people take me out of that with negative comments or a bad training session – just focusing on what I can control."

Anderson expects to finish 'reckless' Roka on ground

With her positive attitude and a fresh move to the iconic American Top Team camp in Florida, Anderson is coming into her second ONE Championship appearance against Roka with more confidence in her abilities.

"Lil' Savage" has scouted her Indian-Nepalese opponent and feels ready to exploit Roka’s weaknesses.

"I know she's from a boxing background," said Anderson. "She has't fought in a while, so I don't know how much she's improved from her time off in the cage. But from what I do see, I feel like her biggest weakness in her game is her grappling, and I think that's really strong for me. 

"I have also seen her fights, and she comes out pretty crazy and reckless. The best thing about (training at) ATT is there are so many girl partners that are always trying to take your head off. So being used to that at a high-level gym makes me more confident and not really too nervous about all the things that she brings to the table in our fight."

Anderson cites her reach advantage as a factor in this matchup with Roka, but she mostly envisions her dominance coming in close range. 

And after the disappointing outcome against Hirata, the American is fired up to earn the victory this Friday – ideally with a convincing stoppage.

"Coming off a loss is really hard and that's just motivated me this whole camp to keep putting in work because I cannot imagine myself going 0-2 (in ONE)," she added. "I feel like I'm going to finish on the ground. I don't know what round, but either a TKO from a grappling exchange or a submission."

This story first published at ONEFC.com.