All Terrence Teo, 25, wanted to do was to fight competitively. Unfortunately, he had no one to fight with.
Tipping the scales at 95kg, there were no other opponents in Singapore in his weight category.
One year and 20kg shed later, he will represent Singapore on the international stage.
He will feature in the 2016 Cheongju World Martial Arts Masterships, which runs from Sept 2-9, under the 75kg K1-Rules.
Competing alongside martial arts powerhouses such as Iran and Kazakhstan, Teo has come a long way since his days as a portly 22-year-old.
He began his martial arts training in 2011, but he injured his shoulder two years later, and started piling on the kilograms.
After completing his national service in May last year, he managed to lose 26kg in a span of five months to win the Johor Open Pro Muay Thai Championships by a knockout.
"Back then, I was really determined to get (to) the weight (class)," the muay thai and kickboxing instructor said of the 69kg category. "I wanted to be a professional fighter but above 85kg, it's hard to get opponents. You lose a lot of energy and muscle mass, and your brain goes haywire. There's a lot of negative thinking. But if you really want it, just go for it."
Since then, he has claimed another belt in the Singapore Fighting Championship which took place in June this year .
Now, Teo hopes to maintain his track record with another title in Korea.
"(My aim is) definitely the gold, so that I can qualify for the World Championships next year."