MMA star Frans Mlambo is juggling a career in the cage with a landscaping job on the side – but he has the chance to "change everything."
Mlambo has been a fixture of Irish MMA in recent years and helped Conor McGregor prepare for some of his biggest fights.
But the bantamweight suffered on the sidelines having gone TWO YEARS without a bout before signing with the Professional Fighters League.
Thankfully for Mlambo, he was able to find a landscaping job with a friend in the gym which he continues with in between training sessions.
He told SunSport: “I started landscaping a few years ago. That is what I’m still doing now.
"There is a guy in the gym, Shane that is awesome, and has a landscaping company and I work with him.
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"Because he is in the gym he understands my situation, it’s kind of perfect for me as well that I can come in and out of training any time I need too.
"So I think I’m blessed in that way, but I don’t think everybody has that. I know of lads that don’t have what I have, and I didn’t before.
"I do it around training and don’t work during camps.”
Mlambo has had a front row seat to watch the boom of MMA thanks largely to training partner McGregor.
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And he has seen more and more young hopefuls walk into the gym wanting to be the next Notorious.
He said: "With Conor as well, everybody now thinks they can come in and do that.
"We are always talking about it in the gym as well, it’s a big thing when you’re in it but before you get there you don’t hear much about it.
"I actually remember this little kid, he must have been like 13, teenager, saying he wants to be a professional fighter and if I had any advice.
"The advice I gave him was, 'Look pay attention in school’, because I always knew I was going to be a fighter since I was really young.
"So I never really took school that seriously and that is one of my biggest regrets.
"This whole time doing the training would have been good to have another profession that would’ve been able to financially support me.
"That is definitely something I feel needs to be taught alongside the sport.”
That is what I’m looking at, that’s my goal right now. If I get to that, that will obviously change everything.
Mlambo this year signed with the PFL and he is now into the semi-final of their three-stage knockout tournament.
Winning it all earns him not only $100,000 but the chance to enter their $1m global season next year.
Mlambo said: “Winning the $100k and qualifying won’t really change as much as I would like it too but winning the million….
"That is what I’m looking at, that’s my goal right now. If I get to that, that will obviously change everything.
"I think it’ll bring me to where I wanted to be about four years ago. I’m a bit behind on getting my life together, so this is a good chance now to take this on and make sure we don’t lose!"
Standing in the way of Mlambo and the PFL Europe final on December 8 is Francesco Nuzzi this Saturday in Paris.
Mlambo said: “I saw him fight in Berlin, after my fight. I was privileged to sit down and watch him, and he was good.
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"I don’t really remember much but I remember the fact that he is a good striker and that’s all I need to know. That is perfect for me.
"That is all I really know but he is a good guy so I can’t wait for the fight.”
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