As each new e-mail is composed, the banging of the keys on the keyboard somehow seems louder and louder. Such is the life of a professional who works in the IT industry. Type. Send. Type. Send. Type. Send. It tends to get repetitive, and whilst this cycle may not be the makings of every day in the workplace, it is still a case of going through the motions whilst the dreams of being a full-time professional fighter lie dormant.

Although he does in fact enjoy his full-time job, there is still that “warrior desire” that burns deep down within Kian Pham, who is poised to make his ONE FC debut in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Sept. 13.

Whilst his job in front of the computer may see him in contact with people all over the world, it’s for a welcomed change that his passion in martial arts sees him fighting on the world stage.

Pham (Chris dela Cruz/Sherdog)

“I think I am going to find it a lot more comfortable than when I am fighting at home,” he admitted in an exclusive interview with The MMA Corner. “There is a lot less pressure and I don’t have to worry about that added pressure that people have. My friends or family have spent their hard-earned money to see me win. I just find the whole thing a lot easier.”

It has been over 12 months since Pham has competed in a mixed martial arts contest. However, he has kept himself active by competing in the modified arena of Combat8, where he lost to Ben Nguyen, who was a last-minute replacement for the fight.

“That fight was a little bit hard, in that I hadn’t prepared for a southpaw at all,” Pham explained. “It made me have to think a lot more in the fight, and my reaction time suffered a lot as a result of that.

“After Combat8, I took some time off to focus on training and coaching. I just felt that there was a bit less pressure and I could actually enjoy it again. I really like helping guys out as they prepare for fights, and things like that. That’s the fun part of all of this.”

Not every fighter is cut out for the transition from competitor to coach, but it is something that Pham sees value in.

“[Opening up his own gym] was something that I had always thought about doing,” he said. “I had been teaching jiu-jitsu for someone else already, and have been doing that for over two years. I really just wanted to do a lot more. Another part of it was that I wanted to have somewhere a little more private to train out of, and a little closer to home too. I was driving 45 minutes to get to Lion’s Den, so I just wanted something a little more accessible so I could put in more hours of training.”

Pham (L) has his arm raised in victory (Chris dela Cruz/Sherdog)

Pham’s opponent, Almiro Barros, may be making his professional mixed martial arts debut, but he is no stranger to competition, having won a world championship in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The bout will be contested in the flyweight division.

“This one is going to be at 56.7 kilos on the dot, so it has meant that I will have to cut a little bit more,” he said. “I do feel a lot leaner going into it, but I am confident with the cut. I am walking around at 62 [kilos], and with the tropical climate, I am sure I’ll be able to sweat out the last couple of kilos.

“I really like the match-up, and I am really excited. [Barros] is a BJJ world champion, and whilst he might have the perceived advantage on the ground, there are other areas that I can bring into the fight too. If he wants to be on his back all the time in the fight, which may happen, but it doesn’t matter to me if he wants to stay down there because then I can take full advantage of the rules in ONE FC and kick him in the head, which I’m more than happy to do.”

Upon returning from Jakarta, Pham may find his inbox overflowing. He may find that he has meeting after meeting to attend in order to catch up with what was happening while he was away. Should he return home with a win, at least he will know those keys on the keyboard are a means to an end, wherein one day he can finally focus on the sport that he loves so much.

Kian would like to thank Luke Pezzutti (mentor, head coach and trainer) and all the fellas from Lion’s Den Academy. His sponsors: Advanced Fight Gear, Australian Fitness Supplies, Force USA and all the additional help on the side from guys like Gokhan Azturk (strength and conditioning), David and Glenn Taylor Smith (fitness and sparring), and Justin Holland (wrestling). And also to his girl Ali, who keeps him sane, positive and balanced when it all gets too much. Follow Pham on Twitter: @karnage125

Top Photo: Kian Pham (top) delivers a shot from the top (Chris dela Cruz/Sherdog)