The three most prominent things to come out of Super Fight League’s tournament in early 2017 were probably these:
- An impressive 9 second knock out
- An appalling stoppage that came a full 16 seconds too late
- The emergence of an 18 year old prospect with serious potential
What do all three instances have in common? They revolved around Nepali-born starlet Asha Roka. Voted SFL’s ‘Fighter of the League’, young Asha laid waste to 4 opponents in just 5 weeks, playing a pivotal role as her team, Sher-E-Punjab, claimed the tournament crown.
It all started with Spokane, Washington’s Anjela Pink. Choosing to stand and trade with the 2012 Junior World Boxing Championship bronze medallist couldn’t have gone much worse for Pink. 9 seconds in, the final blow was landed in a succession of heavy right hands that followed the almost-instantaneous knock down.
It didn’t get much better for the rest of her opponents, either. Rajni Devi lasted just 1:39 before tapping to a guillotine choke, Britain’s Liz Pereira was dispatched by a TKO at 1:41, and sandwiched in between those two scintillating performances was the aforementioned botch up by Indian referee Alan Fenandes, who somehow failed to spot that West Coast Jiu Jitsu MMA’s Hannah Kampf had gone limp a full 16 seconds after Roka clamped on a suffocating guillotine choke. The fight didn’t end until Dennis Hallman leapt over the cage and threw in the towel – and even then, only 42 seconds had passed.
Unsavoury stoppages aside, Asha Roka did all that was asked of her and more, propelling herself to a perfect 4-0 start in her professional MMA career, finishing all of her fights inside 2 minutes.
A star was born earlier this year – the question is, who will give her her next taste of competition on a more global stage?