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"Playing soccer at the collegiate level gave me the discipline to be successful in MMA" - Alyse Anderson's multi-sport journey

Alyse Anderson (right) lands a push kick on Itsuki Hirata (left) during their fight at ONE: Empower. [Photo ONE Championship]
Alyse Anderson (right) lands a push kick on Itsuki Hirata (left) during their fight at ONE: Empower. [Photo ONE Championship]

Alyse Anderson has established herself as one of the more dangerous strikers in mixed martial arts. Her striking roots, however, might have come from the most peculiar of sources.

The lanky atomweight not only has all the capabilities of knocking out just about anyone with a well-placed roundhouse kick, but she can also find the top bins on the football pitch.

Before becoming a professional fighter, Anderson dabbled in the Beautiful Game during her collegiate days. Despite giving up a career in football, Anderson said she still plays, but only for fun.

In an Instagram post, Alyse Anderson wrote:

“Kicking ⚽️ to kicking 👊. Playing soccer at the collegiate level gave me the discipline to be successful in MMA and the journey is far from over!”

Anderson is slowly making a name for herself in the fighting arts, accumulating a respectable 5-2 record in her professional career to date.

The 27-year-old owns two knockout wins and one submission victory in her professional career and also gave Itsuki Hirata a solid striking game in her ONE Championship debut in September 2021.

While she eventually ended up losing to Hirata, Anderson had her moments, including a near knockout of the Japanese star.

In a previous interview with ONE Championship, Alyse Anderson said she plans to learn from her mistakes against Hirata. She also admitted that she felt anxious in the match since it was her first appearance in the circle.

“I knew that she was going to be good with the judo throw. So I did work extensively on keeping my hips and not getting taken down. Obviously, that's where I lost the fight, especially against the fence when I thought I could get my head out when I thought I could create space. It's when I did exactly what I was told not to do and separated my hips from hers. Every single time I did that, it was when I just got tossed. I also didn't let my hands go until the third round because I think I was pretty nervous with it being my ONE debut.”

Alyse Anderson can get in the win column against Asha Roka

Alyse Anderson hasn’t had the best of runs in her early start in ONE Championship. Apart from falling short against Hirata, the emergency medical technician was supposed to be part of ONE X but was pulled from the card due to injury.

She’s since worked her way back into top shape and will face Asha Roka at ONE 157: Petchmorakot vs. Vienot on May 20 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

A win over Roka will surely build Anderson’s stock in the stacked atomweight division. Roka, who’s four years younger than Anderson, is adept both on the feet and on the ground, with her four wins consisting of two knockouts and two submissions.

Tune in to ONE 157 on May 20 to see how Anderson gets on.

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Edited by Harvey Leonard
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