Stergos “Greek Dynamite” Mikkios (19-8-2) has been an underdog his entire life.
Growing up in a Greek orphanage after suffering severe burns over much of his body as a child, he had to scratch and claw for everything he has ever achieved, because no one was going to hand him anything.
After relocating to the United States to live with his grandparents, Mikkios dealt with severe bullying from kids made fun of his scars, and he was berated by his loved ones for getting into trouble at school.
However, he was able to put his troubles behind him when he eventually found his true passion in Muay Thai. Since then, he has been committed to his pursuit of becoming one of the world’s best strikers.
That relentless drive led him to ONE Championship, where he will make his promotional debut on Saturday, 12 May. He faces Ognjen Topic (30-20-2) at ONE: GRIT AND GLORY, live from the Jakarta Convention Center in Indonesia.
All these things I have gone through in my life, all these downfalls, all these obstacles, I tend to appreciate myself a lot of more for overcoming everything,” the 28-year-old from Thessaloniki, Greece says.
“I feel fortunate getting the breakthrough where I am fighting for ONE Championship, and I am not going to let this opportunity go to waste. I am going to give everything I have for this one.
“I am definitely the underdog, but I always fight with heart. I am fighting with all my heart. There is no war I have ever gone through where I have given up. I have never been knocked out in my life. I have always been standing. That is what you guys are going to see in this fight.”
As confident as Mikkios appears, he will not discount the fact that his Serbian opponent may be the biggest test of his career.
Topic is a classically-trained Muay Thai athlete with strong technical skills, including slick boxing, heavy kicks, and an all-around game that has led him to multiple championships such as the Lion Fight Lightweight World Title.
Despite all of that, “Greek Dynamite” is not intimidated by Topic. He is only concerned about what he can control.
“I have fought some crazy people in my career,” Mikkios says.
“I know what Ognjen Topic offers, and I know how he fights, and to be honest, I am not really afraid of anything. The only thing I am afraid of is me not giving my 100 percent, and that is pretty much it.”
Mikkios, a Triumph Kombat Champion who represents Sityodtong Global and Budo Fighters, plans to bring forward-pressure to his opponent early into the ONE Super Series Muay Thai bout.
Admittedly a little unorthodox, he will look to batter the Serbian with a mixture of hard combinations, and potentially switch-up his style in an effort to frustrate him.
“I am going to come out swinging with good hands, and I am going to chuck those low kicks really hard. He has never fought anybody with that aggressive style with good hands. I am going to bring it to him,” Mikkios explains.
“I have a very weird style. Sometimes I come out southpaw, and sometimes I come out orthodox. I am never the same. I want to always confuse my opponents to where they can never predict me.
“From what I have seen [of Topic], he has one particular style. It is very good, but it is very easy to read. It is a very technical Thai-based style, and I am not that. I am not that at all.”
Perhaps the most dangerous thing about “Greek Dynamite” is that although he is ready to win, he is not afraid to face adversity. Every contest teaches him lessons he can use to improve, and impose his action-packed style.
“I have had some wins, and I have had some losses, but it is all about the experience,” the Greek says.
“I got a lot from it. I gained enough experience, and it gave me a reason to say I can do this. [I have gone up] against high-level Muay Thai fighters. I stand up with them, and it made me believe I can be one of these guys. I can be one of the best.”