Meet the 18-year-old Muay Thai champion who dreams of being the & # 39; toughest woman in Australia & # 39; to be

Don't be fooled by the party photos & # 39; s. Dig deeper into Alma Juniku's Instagram account and you'll soon find that you may have discovered the toughest woman in Australia.

& # 39; I don't think I can say this, but I found that I just like to hit people & # 39 ;, the smiling 18-year-old said to FEMAIL.

& # 39; Put me in the fight and it's like I'm just turning into someone else. I still remember my first fight. I cracked a lot of head kicks, which was pretty funny, I got a whiplash. But it was nice, I just wanted to come back for more.

& # 39; Afterwards I was so like: "I want to do this for the rest of my life". & # 39;

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Don't be fooled by the party photos & # 39; s. Dig deeper into Alma Juniku's Instagram account and you'll soon find that you may have discovered the toughest woman in Australia

Don't be fooled by the party photos & # 39; s. Dig deeper into Alma Juniku's Instagram account and you'll soon find that you may have discovered the toughest woman in Australia

The hunter who grew up in Logan City, Queensland, is a rising star in the wild world of Muay Thai kickboxing

The hunter who grew up in Logan City, Queensland, is a rising star in the wild world of Muay Thai kickboxing

The hunter who grew up in Logan City, Queensland, is a rising star in the wild world of Muay Thai kickboxing

Juniku was just nine years old that first time and knew little about the sport she has this week on the verge of international fame and wealth.

On Saturday evening in Shanghai, Juniku is confronted with the Thai sensation Stamp Fairtex for the title Atomweight Muay Thai World, promoted by the Singapore-based ONE Championship organization, perhaps the largest martial arts promotion in the world.

& # 39; Being signed by ONE is a huge boost for my career & # 39 ;, she said. & # 39; They get a lot of attention and have a lot of great fighters. It really takes things to the next level. & # 39;

The hunter who grew up in Logan City, Queensland, is a rising star in the rugged and tumultuous world of Muay Thai kickboxing, the age-old martial art that has emerged in recent years from the dusty regional gyms and raw stadiums of Thailand to promote the exercise of choice. for millennials around the world.

Juniku & # 39; s father Afrim Juniku (left from left) was a professional soccer player who played for Brisbane City and showed his children a love of sport that resonated the deepest with Alma, the youngest of three

Juniku & # 39; s father Afrim Juniku (left from left) was a professional soccer player who played for Brisbane City and showed his children a love of sport that resonated the deepest with Alma, the youngest of three

Initially she was happy in the footsteps of her father, with her heart on joining the modern generation of Aussie girls who have fallen in love with football

Initially she was happy in the footsteps of her father, with her heart on joining the modern generation of Aussie girls who have fallen in love with football

Juniku & # 39; s father Afrim Juniku (left from left) was a professional soccer player who played for Brisbane City and showed his children a love of sport that resonated the deepest with Alma, the youngest of three

& # 39; I suppose I can't say this, but I found that I just like to touch people & # 39 ;, told the smiling 18-year-old FEMAIL

& # 39; I suppose I can't say this, but I found that I just like to touch people & # 39 ;, told the smiling 18-year-old FEMAIL

In fitness clubs, everywhere, the & # 39; art of eight limbs becomes & # 39; - as Muay Thai is known - learned as a way to get fit, fast and bodies to the edge of perfection

In fitness clubs, everywhere, the & # 39; art of eight limbs becomes & # 39; - as Muay Thai is known - learned as a way to get fit, fast and bodies to the edge of perfection

& # 39; I suppose I can't say this, but I found that I just like to touch people & # 39 ;, told the smiling 18-year-old FEMAIL

In fitness clubs, everywhere, the & # 39; art of eight limbs becomes & # 39; – as Muay Thai is known – learned as a way to get fit, fast and body tones to the edge of perfection.

& # 39; It just keeps you fit and it keeps you healthy. It has kept me out of trouble and taught me many things, such as how to handle life, & she said.

& # 39; There are many gyms here with Muay Thai and more and more people are becoming interested in training, especially at my age, and even when they are not fighting. & # 39;

But those beautiful gyms are far removed from the roots of the sport and its traditions.

Back in his home country, Muay Thai is often seen as an escape route for young Thais trying to fight their way out of poverty, as champions become famous names and become rich beyond the wildest dreams of your average citizen.

Juniku comes from a family who also has a certain amount of adversity, her parents moved from their native Albania to Australia in the 1980s in search of a better life

Juniku has risen through the ranks in regional competitions, after finishing school in 2017 and are turning to fight life full time as a hunter and coach at Modern Warrior Muay Thai

Juniku has risen through the ranks in regional competitions, after finishing school in 2017 and are turning to fight life full time as a hunter and coach at Modern Warrior Muay Thai

Juniku has risen through the ranks in regional competitions, after finishing school in 2017 and are turning to fight life full time as a hunter and coach at Modern Warrior Muay Thai

Dedication – and despair – forges some of the most difficult hunters on the planet. Stamp is such a warrior, because she has left behind her family's modest farming traditions in rural Thailand and has made herself a more lucrative career.

But Juniku comes from a family that also has a certain amount of adversity, her parents moved from Australia to Albania in the 1980s in search of a better life.

& # 39; They wanted things to be different for us, & # 39; said Juniku. & # 39; They just wanted a better future. & # 39;

Juniku & # 39; s father Afrim Juniku was a professional football player who played for Brisbane City and showed his children a love of sport that resonated the deepest with Alma, the youngest of three.

She currently has the WBC Muay Thai bantamweight world title and the IPCC World Muay Thai bantamweight title. But registering with the ONE group has taken her game - and her aspirations - to a whole new level

She currently has the WBC Muay Thai bantamweight world title and the IPCC World Muay Thai bantamweight title. But registering with the ONE group has taken her game - and her aspirations - to a whole new level

She currently has the WBC Muay Thai bantamweight world title and the IPCC World Muay Thai bantamweight title. But registering with the ONE group has taken her game – and her aspirations – to a whole new level

In the beginning she was happy in the footsteps of her father, with her heart in connecting with the modern generation of Aussie girls who had fallen in love with football.

Until, that is, the fateful day when a neighbor suggested that Juniku put on the Muay Thai gloves for the first time.

& # 39; I immediately fell in love with it, & # 39; said Juniku. & # 39; I gave up playing soccer a week later. My father was so disappointed.

& # 39; Over the years I think he saw how well I went in this sport and I think he got over it a little, but deep down I suspect he still thinks: "I really want that she was still playing ". & # 39;

Away from the fighting game, Juniku offers her life & # 39; a little boring, & # 39; and that she likes to give glamor with an occasional night out with friends

Away from the fighting game, Juniku offers her life & # 39; a little boring, & # 39; and that she likes to give glamor with an occasional night out with friends

Away from the fighting game, Juniku offers her life & # 39; a little boring, & # 39; and that she likes to give glamor with an occasional night out with friends

Juniku has risen through the ranks in regional competitions after he finished his studies in 2017 and saw himself fighting full-time as a hunter and coach at Modern Warrior Muay Thai.

She currently has the WBC Muay Thai bantamweight world title and the IPCC World Muay Thai bantamweight title. But registering with the ONE group has taken her game – and her aspirations – to a whole new level.

Unlike most martial arts promotions, ONE combines different fighting styles on his cards, promotes mixed martial arts attacks alongside Muay Thai, kickboxing, and fights with lesser-known martial arts such as lethwei, Myanmar & # 39; s unique form of kickboxing.

Fighters are also encouraged to expand their own skills and horizons by crossing codes – as Stamp did by capturing both ONE & Muay Thai atomic weight title and his world champion kickboxing atoms.

Unlike most martial arts promotions, ONE combines different fighting styles on his cards, promotes mixed martial arts attacks alongside Muay Thai, kickboxing, and fights with lesser-known martial arts such as lethwei, Myanmar & # 39; s unique form of kickboxing

Unlike most martial arts promotions, ONE combines different fighting styles on his cards, promotes mixed martial arts attacks alongside Muay Thai, kickboxing, and fights with lesser-known martial arts such as lethwei, Myanmar & # 39; s unique form of kickboxing

Unlike most martial arts promotions, ONE combines different fighting styles on his cards, promotes mixed martial arts attacks alongside Muay Thai, kickboxing, and fights with lesser-known martial arts such as lethwei, Myanmar & # 39; s unique form of kickboxing

Incredibly, given her still tender years, Juniku has already made an effort in kickboxing by traveling to Zunyi in 2017 to participate in the & # 39; Legend of Mulan & # 39; competition of China & # 39; s Kunlun Fight promotion.

Despite the fact that they have never raced in the sport, Juniku & # 39; s progress in the tournament was only stopped when she came in contact with the Chinese sensation Zhang & # 39; Magnum & # 39; Weili, a hunter who has since turned her attention to mixed martial arts and is now ready for a world title shot of herself in the UFC, & # 39; the world's best MMA organization.

& # 39; I didn't win, but I went toe-to-toe with her and I thought that was great, & # 39; said Juniku.

& # 39; That was my first K1 (kickboxing) fight so I didn't know exactly what was going on, but I learned a lot. To see how far she is now, I feel very good. I was only 17 then and now look at her. & # 39;

Juniku has no illusions about the upcoming task against a fighter whose reputation is based on her terrifying fighting skills

Juniku has no illusions about the upcoming task against a fighter whose reputation is based on her terrifying fighting skills

Juniku has no illusions about the upcoming task against a fighter whose reputation is based on her terrifying fighting skills

On Saturday evening in Shanghai, Juniku is confronted with the Thai sensation Stamp Fairtex for the title Atomweight Muay Thai World, promoted by the Singaporean ONE Championship organization, perhaps the largest martial arts promotion in the world

On Saturday evening in Shanghai, Juniku is confronted with the Thai sensation Stamp Fairtex for the title Atomweight Muay Thai World, promoted by the Singaporean ONE Championship organization, perhaps the largest martial arts promotion in the world

On Saturday evening in Shanghai, Juniku is confronted with the Thai sensation Stamp Fairtex for the title Atomweight Muay Thai World, promoted by the Singaporean ONE Championship organization, perhaps the largest martial arts promotion in the world

Outside of the fighting game, Juniku offers her life & # 39; a little boring, real & # 39; and that she likes to give glamor with an occasional night out with friends.

& # 39; It's nice to get dressed and get away from the sweat of the gym, & # 39; she said. & # 39; You sometimes have to take a break. My friends are really supportive – they think fighting is scary but cool. & # 39;

Juniku has no illusions about the upcoming task, against a fighter whose reputation is based on her terrifying fighting skills.

But the teenager has comfortably prepared for her moment of truth in this huge Chinese metropolis, with daily training, combined with chillout sessions with her ever-expanding Instagram community.

& # 39; In general, she is a very good fighter, & # 39; Juniku said to her opponent.

& # 39; She is stronger, she is technical and I think it will be a good fight. I will give it everything I have. I feel fit and strong and I am pretty excited.

& # 39; Now I just have to go outside and do my thing. & # 39;

Fans in Australia can watch Alma Juniku & # 39; s title recording for free Saturday night through the. Downloadable ONE Championship Super App

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