Queensland fighter Elliot ‘The Dragon’ Compton is set to make his debut on the Chinese kickboxing promotion Kunlun Fight next weekend as part of the promotion’s 70kg World Championship Tournament.
The 16-fight card takes place at the Mangrove Tree International Conference Centre in Sanya, a city in the south-east of China. Compton is fighting in a four-man tournament as part of a qualifier for their ongoing 70kg World Championships, where if he wins, he will have the opportunity to fight in the final due to be held in the early months of 2018. Compton’s first opponent on the night is Chinese fighter Li Shiyuan who has a background in Sanda and is known to have an unorthodox style in the ring.
Compton, who has a record of 30-10-1 and holds numerous titles including the World Kickboxing Federation (WKBF) South Pacific Title is more than happy to move away from his traditional muaythai rule set and prides himself on being able to adapt to any rules.
“I’m a martial artist first and foremost. I chase the biggest challenges and I want the biggest fights. At the moment Kunlun is providing the biggest names and the biggest platform particularly for this side of the world. The kickboxing rules actually suit me. I’ve got some killer boxing skills that I can now let rip without having to think about defending elbows” Compton told Fight News Australia.
Compton’s last fight in April against fellow Australian Victor Nagbe for the WKBF World Title ended in a unanimous decision going the way of Nagbe after a five-round tussle. Never quite finding a rhythm on the night, Compton struggled to change his approach to suit a fighting style he wasn’t expecting from Nagbe.
“I normally adapt and change as the fight progresses, but in this instance, I was so focused on getting a stoppage win that I didn’t do me and fight my usual way. Lesson learned I can guarantee. I’ve got a bone to pick with myself and that won’t happen again”.
Training under the watchful eye of his father, Steve Compton, out of the Team Compton Training Centre, there is always a chance the two could clash given how closely they work with each other on a day to day basis and the often complex nature of the father and son relationship. Compton says, however, that this just isn’t the case.
“Training with Dad is great. It’s one of the main reasons I do this. We’ve traveled the world together training and fighting and will continue to do so for as long as possible. It’s an amazing experience having my family so close on this journey. Great money is hard to come by in this sport so it’s more about gaining experience and memories with loved ones”.
While Compton has his sights firmly set on next weekend’s fights and the opportunity to impress on a big international stage, he won’t rule out a potential move to MMA down the track if the chance did arrive. With The Team Compton Training Centre and Integrated MMA closely linked, Compton often has the opportunity to train alongside successful Australian MMA fighters such as Adrian Pang, Damien Brown and Ben Nguyen.
“It’s always inspiring to be surrounded by the best athletes in the country, if not the world, and I definitely draw inspiration from all of my teammates daily. I wouldn’t say I’m looking at transitioning, but if the right opportunity presents itself? I’m a fighter, of course I’ll do it!”
Bursting onto the scene in 2014, Kunlun Fight has developed quickly and with big name fighters such as Yodsanklai Fairtex, Sitithichai Sitsongpeenong, and Buakaw Banchamek all appearing on the promotion, Kunlun Fight has positioned itself as one of the leading kickboxing promotions in the world. Having seemingly conquered the Chinese combat sports market, Kunlun Fight recently turned their attention to Australia, announcing a partnership with MMA promotion Australian Fighting Championship (AFC) at a press conference in Melbourne last week. The organisation plans to hold dual kickboxing and MMA shows and their first event is tentatively booked for Saturday October 28th at the Melbourne Pavilion.