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A little over half a decade ago, Audreylaura “Ice Comet” Boniface was just like any Malaysian pursuing a working career.

She had always loved helping people, so her occupation as a doctor was a perfect fit. But since she was busy with her role in the hospital, Boniface felt the urge to take up something beneficial to her health.

“I’ve always kind-off remained close to martial arts, so there weren’t many options other than that,” the 29-year-old said.

“Ice Comet” had a background in taekwondo, but the martial arts scene in Malaysia was still evolving, and that meant the doors were open for her to try something new.

She loves challenges, so she ended up choosing mixed martial arts at Borneo Tribal Squad, home to AJ “Pyro” Lias Mansor and Ann “Athena” Osman.

Though it was something new to her, she thrived from the beginning.

“When I first stepped into Borneo Tribal Squad, I did not know anything about mixed martial arts. I had zero knowledge,” she admitted.

“I saw AJ and Ann from afar. They were very welcoming, but they looked focused, and a bit scary, while they were training.”

But the doctor took up the challenge to train under their watchful eyes, describing the entire experience as arduous.

“I spent quite a bit of time there. Spending time with them was great because I learned new stuff every day,” she said, adding, “It was tiring at the start, but after a while, your body just gets conditioned to it.”

And just like that, her coaches Ann and AJ were not just teaching her new tricks, they became influential mentors who kept her going in the mixed martial arts circuit.

“Ann and AJ are not only my coach and my senior, but also a brother and sister to me. They’ve been my heroes since day one,” she said.

“They have shared with me everything there is to know about the sport from advice and skills. Whether its martial arts or life-related, and not only on how to improve and be a good martial arts athlete, but to be a better individual every day.”

ONE Championship travels to Malaysia next for ONE: MARK OF GREATNESS on Friday, 6 December.