Here is a little interview to get to know Adrian "A-Boom" Tham.
Good day Adrian, congrats on your winning in the recent F3 event! Before we get to the part about the event, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I'm just a normal guy who works in the sales/services line(Finance). Nothing extraordinary.
I have a Black Belt in WTF Taekwando awarded my Master Chia from Melaka, a Brown Belt in Shotokan Karate, and cross train in Capoeira based on interest for a couple of years. Then started to train Muay Thai from Gallen of Tankhead Muay Thai and then sharpen my Muay Thai skills with AJ PYRO (Pro Muay Thai/MMA coach),which is now my MMA coach at Borneo Tribal Squad and had the privilege to work on my wrestling and Boxing at the same time.
At the same time I worked on my BJJ with Team BJJ Borneo under coach Allen Chong which is also affiliated with Checkmat Malaysia which is under the leadership of Professor Marcos Escobar.
I also had the chance to train Judo once a month for the past 2 years under Sabah Judo which was led by Bart @ Sulaiman Lee and a couple of strong judo black belt who were former/current state exponents.
In terms of awards I can't quite remember what kinda medal telly I had throughout my time as a karate state exponent. All I can remember is that I did win medals in nationals and state tourneys during my time in karate. I also competed in Masum and won medals during that time too. The latest addition to medals collected would be in BJJ. I won Gold in no gi at the Phillipines Open 2010.won 2 golds in my weight category and absolutes for gi and silver in my weight category for nogi at the 2011 Headhunters BJJ challenge.
What was the 1st martial art you got involved with? How old were you then?
I got involved with TKD at first when i was 5 year old (Kindergarten) because I got in a fight and my mom thought that I should get some discipline so I was forcefully enrolled in TKD.
Can you tell us about your training group "Borneo Tribal Squad". What was it like training with AJ "Pyro"?
Coach AJ is a very dedicated,experienced and understanding coach and I wouldn't have done it without his intense training and the diet routine he prepared for me and the rest of my team mates throughout the last 5 months I was training with him.Borneo Tribal Squad is a basically a group pioneered by AJ to unite Borneo fighters and put Borneo on the MMA scene internationally regardless of your martial arts background and expertise.basically we helped each other out in training.
So tell us what was your training schedule like?
For the past 5 months I trained 2-3 times a day in between work appointments and after work.
Morning we'll work on the technical aspect of MMA such as striking and wrestling which also includes groundwork.
Later in the evening we would work on strength and conditioning and lots of bag works.
At night it would either be Muay Thai, Boxing or I would be at BJJ Borneo working on my BJJ and Judo.sometimes we would do outdoor training at Likas complex track and field.
What about food? Did you have to change your diet? What's it like cutting weight?
I had to reduce the carbs intake.high protein diet so I would retain my muscle mass while losing excess body weight.strictly no oil, salt and sugar during the weight loss process.Thanks to AJ for providing us with supplements which allow our body to recover in time for every session in a day.
You trained for 3 months to this fight, during those days what was on your mind?
Actually it was 5 months cause we trained with AJ for his DARE FC fight card. Throughout the whole time I had to focus and put 100% during training so I wouldn't get knocked out or submitted and worst of all gas out during my fight. I must admit I was scared about the worst cause it was my first mma fight.
Do you consider yourself more a kickboxer or a grappler?
I used to consider myself as a striker but now i can say that i'm more comfortable being on the ground.
Who's your favourite fighter & why?
Vitor Belfort because of his fighting prowess and the fact he inspires religiously.
What do you think of your opponent?
I never took my opponent lightly given the experience he had in all of his previous fights and i must say they were impressive especially his striking.we were working on my game plan the whole time so that i wouldn't get myself caught in his fight style.
Did you have a gameplan? If yes, what was it?
My gameplan was to avoid going head on with him on striking and to work on my strengths during the fight.
(picture from www.thefightnation.com)
Tell us about your experience getting to Stadium Titiwangsa for the F3 event? I'm sure the fans who did not get to go there would love to know what's it like.
The event was insane!!!! There were alot of MMA and Muay Thai Pro fighters around. I thought that it was nerve wrecking during weigh ins but luckily being in fights and competition before i manage to get hold of myself and put the atmosphere to good use.nevertheless the event was awesome.
At any time during your fight were you in trouble?
When he was pushing forward I lost my footing and tumble backwards. Luckily I regain composure and got back up in time before he could hurt me on throw any strikes on me on the ground.
What do you think of the match?
I thought it was a tough match especially going against a seasoned and experienced fighter like Kai.
Is it safe to say that you had a harder training compare to your fight?
AJ broke all of my fitness limit every time I trained with him. I seriously doubt my fitness all the time.
Looking at the other fights, what do you think of Borneo fighters standards when compared to the other gyms there?
I feel that there are alot of talented Borneo fighters who could seriously explode on the mma scene given the proper training and funding.there are so many underrated fighters in Borneo and I hope BTS could open doors for them.
Tell us what are your plans? More MMA fights?
At the moment I'm just concentrating on the BJJ world trials in a weeks time and would consider to fight again maybe in the other half of the calender for I need to focus on my career as well.
What was it that drove you to work so hard during training & during the fight?
Easy, "train hard fight easy". I always remember about this quote all the time.
Any message you want to tell the readers of FightBah?
Prepare yourself whenever going into a fight/competition.don't expect to just walk into a fight unprepared and thinking you are ready for it.
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Adrian Tham's fight stat is also recorded in sherdog official website here!
Adrian Tham's fight video is only open to members of Borneo Tribal Squad and is also scheduled to be shown in ASTRO Arena at an unspecific date.