Before he makes his walk down the ramp to the ONE Championship stage, Kim recalls his journey thus far, and what it has taken him to get here.
Kim had a rough childhood when his parents separated.
“When I was around 12-or-13 years old, my parents got divorced,” Kim said.
“My father, sister, and grandmother were the ones who took care of me. During those times, my father rarely went home. That period in my life was really hard for me.”
The South Korean eventually discovered Muay Thai and began his martial arts journey until he was called to enlist in the Army. After being discharged from the mandatory service, Kim decided to focus on his martial arts training, aware that his skills were not fit for the professional level just yet.
“I started training Muay Thai at the age of 19,” Kim said.
“And I trained for about two-to-three years. At the age of 23, I served in the Army, and after I finished my military service, I started training martial arts.”
When Rich Franklin’s ONE Warrior Series held a tryout, Kim did not pass up on the opportunity. In the limited time he was given to showcase his skills, Kim gave everything he had. Jonathan Fong, the series’ co-host, then began calling out the names of the athletes who passed and “The Kid” was one of them.
“When they called my name, it was pronounced incorrectly,” Kim said.
“So I did not know if they chose me or not. My friend said that it seemed like me, but I did not believe it. At first, I was so shocked but I am very happy to have been selected.”
Kim then went on to face Muhammad Sanjidul Islam in March 2018, where he took down the Bangladeshi and unleashed devastating punches, ending the match in the first round by way of technical knockout.
In the last event of ONE for the year, Kim looks to give his best performance yet against Thang.
“I have done martial arts for a long time. It is what I am best at. I want to do the best I can,” Kyoum concluded.