Following a phenomenal launch of ONE Super Series last weekend, Stergos “Greek Dynamite” Mikkios looks to continue that momentum in Indonesia.
Mikkios has made waves competing in numerous organizations all over the world. He is revered for his gritty style inside the ring, and is happy to clash with any opponent in either a technical battle, or an all-out war.
As “Greek Dynamite” prepares for his showdown next month, find out more about this latest addition to the ONE Super Series.
No Easy Roads
Mikkios did not have an easy childhood.
After being born in the United States, he relocated to Greece with his mother and father. His parents separated when he was only 6 years of age, and the youngster was promptly sent to live in an orphanage with other children.
He stayed at the orphanage until he was 11, but was forced to leave when the group home closed. That caused Mikkios to move back across the Atlantic to Connecticut, USA, where he was raised by his grandparents.
Although Connecticut is known as one of the most expensive places to live in America, Mikkios resided in East Hartford, in a rough environment. That forced him to toughen up, and readapt to life in the USA extremely quickly.
“These people grew up in hardships. They grew up with almost nothing,” he explains. “I had to sort of carry myself with pride, because I could have had these kids bully me, and I had that a lot. I was bullied a lot growing up. I had to learn to stand up for myself.”
Written In The Scars
Perhaps one of the most challenging things Mikkios dealt with as a child, and something he has carried with him his entire life, was an accident that happened to him before he went to live in the orphanage.
When he was a toddler, Mikkios and his brother accidentally had hot soup spilt on them, which left the future Muay Thai competitor with scars covering a big part of his body. The Greek says the damage was very visible, and it was so severe that there were parts of his head where hair did not grow.
That led to Mikkios facing a lot of ridicule from other children, especially after he moved to the United States, where he was already the new kid on the block in the middle of a bad area.
“I was made fun of through my entire school years with those scars,” he adds.
“I had to sort of carry myself with some dignity, and fight for my respect. A lot of kids made fun of me. I had visual scars that led to kids bullying me. I grew up with bullies. I grew up by fighting for myself just to get some respect. That is what made me a fighter.”
A Late Arrival To Martial Arts
Mikkios may have grown up defending himself from other kids who tried to bully him, but he never got involved in martial arts as a child.
Instead, it was years later while he was working as a mechanic. He began watching mixed martial arts on television, and there was something about the sport that spoke to him. That motivated him to head to Thornton Martial Arts in East Hartford.
At that point, Mikkios was 22, and was living without much direction. But discovering martial arts gave him something to be passionate about for perhaps the first time ever.
“I really did not have direction until 2012. I had a breakthrough,” the Greek says.
“I saw the Rocky movies my entire life, and then I saw mixed martial arts on television, and I got interested in it. Why not? I figured I should give it a try. There was nothing I could lose. I had nothing going on. I tried martial arts, and I fell in love. Ever since 2012, I have been grinding.”
While he was originally interested in mixed martial arts, Mikkios began training in Muay Thai, and soon transformed into an outstanding striker. That is when he knew ‘the art of eight limbs’ was the sport for him.
The Underdog Rises To The Top
Even though Mikkios got a late start to his Muay Thai career, he has experienced quite a bit of success.
The Greek captured the AKBF Title, the Friday Night Fights Muay Thai Jr. Welterweight Title, and the Triumph Kombat Championship, which was a four-man tournament held at the world-famous Madison Square Garden.
However, as much as he loves winning championship titles, “Greek Dynamite” is most proud of being a man who was constantly counted out, only to rise to the occasion. He is defined by his toughness, and his ability to battle through any situation, both inside the ring, and outside of it.
“What I am really proud of is that I have always been the underdog since the beginning,” he says.
“I have been facing big-name amateur athletes, and no one knew who I was, and that is how I got known in the United States. For me, it was just going after all these big names with big records, and showing what I really had.”
Mikkios gets his biggest name yet on 12 May. The Sityodtong Global representative will meet Topic at ONE: GRIT AND GLORY, and “Greek Dynamite” will undoubtedly look to inspire the world with an explosive performance.
Jakarta | 12 May | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/oneglory18