Ann Osman lives the majority of her life in a world where a suit and tie are the standard dress code. First impressions last, and it pays off to look the part when in the always expanding property industry.

The old saying goes that when a person embarks on a career in the world of business, they are on a mission to “climb the corporate ladder.”

Osman (Dean Marchand/Sherdog)

Osman (Dean Marchand/Sherdog)

When climbing any ladder, at first, it’s important to take it one rung at a time. It may seem like it takes an eternity, but in some aspects of life, rushing into things can have dire consequences. Osman has a new ladder she’s climbing. The rungs lead to a successful career in mixed martial arts. It’s not much different to the complex and overwhelming ladder she has climbed once before, and it’s something she plans to tackle with the exact same intensity.

“Besides training and competing in MMA, I also have a corporate career as a Business Development Manager in the property industry,” Osman revealed in an exclusive interview with The MMA Corner. “I handle and manage our company’s clientele for the whole [of] East Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak—Borneo side of Malaysia. It’s definitely a full-time corporate career and I have to balance my training morning, noon and night around my work.

“Other than work and training, I love chilling on the beach with my friends and sisters. It’s definitely a full schedule, but I love it and hope to inspire others that, with hard work and passion, you can do anything you set your mind to.

“When I began going to the gym two years ago, I’d see AJ ‘Pyro’ Lias Mansor training and teaching Muay Thai and MMA. Initially, I joined for fitness and fun, but before I knew it I was training with the Borneo Tribal Squad and competing in some amateur MMA and Muay Thai competitions.

In her professional mixed martial arts debut, which took place at ONE FC 11 on Oct. 18, 2013, Osman faced off with fellow debutant Sherilyn Lim. The bout took place in Lim’s home country of Singapore. In a closely contested fight, Lim emerged the victor in what was considered one of the best bouts of the card.

“My last fight in ONE FC against Sherilyn was a learning curve for me and my coach,” Osman admitted. “AJ and I have assessed my performance from the last fight and we are working together to adjust and improve both my striking and ground techniques.

“I thought it was definitely a fairly close fight with three intense rounds all the way through. There was definitely a lot of grappling and clinching going on, and it was just unfortunate I lost by a two-to-one split decision.”

Osman (top) (Dean Marchand/Sherdog)

Osman (top) (Dean Marchand/Sherdog)

Osman’s return to the ONE FC cage takes place at ONE FC 14 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Her bout is a rematch with Lim, and this time it’s Osman who gets to entertain the home crowd. With the added pressure of performing on the big stage that is ONE FC in just her second fight as a professional, Osman vows to make an impression yet again.

“I want this win not just for me, but for my team, for other women and for my country,” Osman exclaimed. “I want to show my countrymen and countrywomen you can balance your career and your dreams, and that if you believe in yourself and work hard, you can do anything, no matter who you are and where you are from. I am giving everything I have, training morning, noon and night, around my job. [I am] learning from my mistakes from my last fight and working hard to improve my techniques. No two ways about it, I am coming back with a vengeance.

“I am proud and happy to be representing Malaysia as its first female in ONE Fighting Championship. Though I admit there is a certain amount of pressure to win the fight, I do not let it get to me as I remain focused on preparing for the fight. I will be sure to come back better than my first fight, and this time I won’t let it go to the judges’ decision.”

Whilst having experienced a great deal of success in her career outside of the cage, Osman is still yet to replicate that same success in her passion of martial arts. In front of thousands of Malaysian MMA fans, she gets that chance on March 14. Although the ladder in the women’s rankings in ONE FC isn’t all that high just yet, the quicker she can climb it, the bigger the chance that her professional fighting career will see the same heights as her corporate one.

Ann would like to thank her coach, AJ “Pyro” Lias Mansor, who recently won ONE FC‘s national featherweight championship. She would also like to thank ONE FC.