“I’m a fighter that will fight anyone, anywhere, any rules. I’ve always said that and I’ve always stayed true to it.”
Elliot “The Dragon” Compton has a tall order this Friday in his ONE Championship debut. The 29-year-old will face Brazilian muay thai legend Cosmo “Good Boy” Alexandre.
Compton, who trains out of Team Compton Training Centre in Brisbane, Queensland, says he’s made some big changes for this camp, including new sparring partners and assistant coaches, which have him feeling “the best he’s ever felt.”
“I feel physically sharp and mentally sharp. I feel like I’ve really come into my own,” Compton said.
Alexandre (50-15) has won a number of titles, including the Lion Fight Super Middleweight Championship and WMC Intercontinental Championship. He’s fought the who’s who of muay thai, including Giorgio Petrosyan and Jo Nuttawut, who are set to face each other on Friday’s card.
Compton relishes the opportunity to fight someone he’s spent his career watching and to test his skills against one of the best.
“I thrive on challenges and I really love being an underdog,” Compton said.
“I think it’s definitely one fight that the fans are gonna remember and it’ll be explosive.”
Their bout will be the very first fight of ONE’s Super Series , a new league by the promotion to showcase striking martial arts disciplines. It will take place on the ONE: Heroes of Honor card which will feature bouts from MMA, kickboxing and muay thai.
Compton believes the venture by ONE is capitalising on a hole in the Asia Pacific market and will bring eyes from the MMA fan base to muay thai and kickboxing.
“With ONE Championship putting events on the same card, people are going to tune in to watch the MMA and see the high level of striking that there is around. … It’s the cream of the crop, there’s no better strikers in the world than the guys they’ve signed, so it’s really gonna expose the sport of thai boxing and kickboxing to a much wider audience.
“It’s funny everyone talks about how they like the stand and scrap fights in MMA, but a lot of guys won’t take the time to tune into some of these big kickboxing promotions,” Compton continued. “They don’t understand how exciting kickboxing and muay thai can be.”
ONE is at the forefront of combat sports in one other way. Their hydration testing ensures fighters are competing close to their walk around weight and avoiding drastic weight cuts.
At two weeks out, Compton said he was on weight and fully hydrated, and believes it’s how all fighters should compete.
“You can be as scientific as you want [with weight cutting] … but at the end of the day, nothing beats fighting at what you train at,” Compton said.
“If you’re training at 77 and you’re fighting at 77, obviously you’re gonna do your best work.”
Compton would like to see more promotions follow suit and eliminate the potential for tragedies.
“There was a young girl in Perth that passed away and that’s heartbreaking. That’s not what this sport’s about. This sport’s about being healthy and living a positive lifestyle, and trying to improve yourself and your skills.”
This fight will be Compton’s first of a six-fight deal with ONE which includes muay thai and MMA bouts. Despite having never competed in MMA, Compton has trained every area of MMA since he started martial arts at just four years old.
“I’ve got guys that fight all over the place under MMA rules and I spar with them every week, so I’m always updating my skills.”
Even though his primary passion is muay thai, Compton says he was always open to the right opportunity.
“ONE Championship gave me an offer that was hard to refuse, so here we are and I’m really excited about the challenge.”
As for what’s next, Compton isn’t looking beyond his opponent on Friday and will take each fight as it comes.
“I just want to get back in and fight the best guys that ONE Championship wanna offer to me, whether that’s kickboxing, whether that’s MMA, whether that’s thai boxing, I honestly don’t care. Just give me anyone and I’ll fight them and I’ll put on a show when I do it.”
ONE: Heroes of Honor will be held at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Phillipines this Friday, April 20.