Elliot Compton has ‘put life on hold’ to prepare for legend Nieky Holzken

Brisbane-based Muay Thai and kickboxing veteran Elliot “The Dragon” Compton has put himself through the wringer for the biggest One Championship fight of his career.

As the number five contender in the promotion’s lightweight kickboxing division, the British-born Australian will battle it out with number one contender, Dutch legend Nieky “The Natural” Holzken at One: Big Bang II’s penultimate matchup.

The fight will take place in Singapore on Friday, December 4, and broadcast the following week on December 11.

Elliot’s obsession with all things combat is no anomaly within the Compton family. His father, Steve Compton, has been involved with countless professional fighters, including Ben Nguyen and Damien Brown, both having had multi-year runs in the UFC.

For Elliot, martial arts was just another part of growing up.

“Most kids played football or did athletics or whatever else,” the 31-year-old told Fight News Australia.

“For me, I trained martial arts. My father never pressured me into training as a kid, [and] in fact it was me pressuring him into taking me to the gym with him every night after school.”

Trained in numerous disciplines since a young age — from Jeet Kune Do to Eskrima stick fighting, Compton considers his free-flowing style to be a fusion of his 25-year long diverse martial arts journey.

“All you have to do is look at my style of fighting to see that I don’t fit a specific mould or a generic style. It seems a waste to me to not incorporate all of what we know into a unique style that can blend within all rule sets.”

For Elliot, Steve’s lifelong involvement in his son’s fighting career means “more than any title belt or accolade I’ve ever won. This entire thing is about the journey for me,” he said.

“I have so many incredible memories of training, fighting, and everything in-between with my father. We have seen and achieved so much together and have so many crazy stories to tell.”

With the help of his father, Elliot operates and fights out of Team Compton Training Centre in Auchenflower, Brisbane.

With sights set on the opening bell in Singapore’s Indoor Stadium, the Compton family’s newest addition might just be the extra motivation Elliot needed as he prepares to face all-time kickboxing great in Nieky Holzken.

“I’m fighting for so much more now,” assured Elliot, referring to the recent birth of his daughter Hazel.

“I want my fighting career to serve as a metaphor; to know when things get tough in life, she just has to bite down on her mouthguard and fight her way out of it.”

Compton has a lot on his plate – as a full-time professional athlete, a passionate coach, and now a father, it is his close-knit family that grounds him. “Without their love and support I would never be able to do what I do. This is absolutely a team effort.”

But for the Brisbane fighter, family extends beyond blood.

“I have incredible sponsors, management, training partners and clients that really just work with me to make everything fall into place.

“I’m so grateful to have such a positive and helpful support network around me, pushing me to be the best that I can be.”

With a full camp, Elliot told FNA: “I’ve literally put life on hold for this fight. Everything has been focused on this moment. I have pushed myself far beyond anything I’ve ever thought possible for this fight and we have unlocked a whole new level of potential.”

Elliot has once again called upon his father’s expertise, embracing a gruelling preparation on all fronts. Compton’s strength and conditioning coach Elliott Falconer and dietitian Jordi have put the athlete through an orchestrated regimen, overseeing every aspect of training from diet to regular metabolic testing.

“We have left no stone unturned for this one,” Compton remarked.

The four-time Caged Muay Thai Champion and Lumpinee Stadium KO of the night winner has his work cut out for him in Holzken, who has won over the likes of Cosmo Alexandre, Murthel Groenhart and Joseph Valtellini – to name a few.

Their clash will come following Compton’s loss to Anthony Njokuani and Holzken’s to reigning One Lightweight Kickboxing Champion Regian Eersel, both losing via unanimous decision in 2019.

“For me at this point in my career, it’s all ‘bout going out there and mixing it up with the world’s best,” the Aussie said.

Mixing it up will no doubt be the key to emerging victorious over the renowned Dutchman. With a tight guard and explosive combinations, Holzken’s Dutch-style of kickboxing is a problem for any contender, but Elliot is adamant that “when I’m having fun, that’s when I do my best work, and I’m excited to showcase exactly that!”

When FNA asked whether Compton had a specific prediction for the fight, Elliot responded in a manner many have come to expect from the ever-passionate martial artist, “one hell of a scrap!”

One: Big Bang II will be headlined by a Flyweight Muay Thai clash between Japanese Taiki Naito and the UK’s Jonathan Haggerty.

The main card broadcast is set to start around 10:30pm AEST from the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Friday, December 11, and is watchable via the ONE Super App or the ONE Championship YouTube channel.

Elliot Compton: Life is short and life in the fight game is even shorter

A passionate martial artist, undergoing a major in Journalism and Arts at the University of Queensland. Since my awkward teens I have been deeply engaged in the world of combat sports, always excited to channel my passion for martial arts to the world