Sometimes the best-laid plans still don’t provide you with the result you want, and for Queensland’s Elliot ‘The Dragon’ Compton, coming up short on his debut on the ONE Super Series was just another step on his overall journey.
Taking the loss in his stride, Compton has regrouped, refocussed and is looking for his first win in the organisation on Friday against American Matthew Semper.
Compton made his debut on the ONE Super Series in April in Manila where he suffered a second-round knockout loss to Brazillian muay thai legend Cosmo Alexandre. Despite a strong first round showing that should have had him up on the judge’s scorecards, Alexandre showed his experience, and late in the second round landed a pin-point accurate knee to the liver, sending Compton down to the canvas.
Speaking to Fight News Australia in the leadup to Friday’s muay thai bout, Compton said that the loss, while disappointing, was not due to nerves or the scale of the fight.
“I’ve fought on big shows against big names a number of times in my career, so for me, this was just another chapter in my journey. If anything, I feel like the calibre of athlete I was competing against and the size of the crowd added to my energy on the night”.
“I embraced every minute of the experience. From the training, media, walk out and fight it was an incredible opportunity that I’m extremely grateful for. I don’t think the nerves or hype affected my performance or the outcome”.
“The result wasn’t what we wanted (obviously) but generally speaking, I was happy with my performance up until the moment that ended the fight. I felt that I had the first round in the bag and was close to taking the second round too. It is what it is and at this level, it can all change in a blink of an eye”.
It’s evident when speaking with Compton that he’s not the type of man who dwells on a loss or that he sees the result as a setback. For the young Queenslander its all about continually progressing forward and trusting in the process.
“I learned to embrace the journey. To take it all in and have fun with every aspect of the game. It’s easy to focus on the destination and miss the journey. Life is short and life in the fight game is even shorter. When it’s all said and done, your memories and experience are really the only things that truly matter”.
“There was a pivotal moment for me just after the Cosmo fighter where I had an overwhelming sense of clarity – I love this life that I live and I’m learning with every fight and every year that I get older, the importance of being happy and grateful for where I’m at”.
Wanting to get back in the ring as quickly as possible to search for his first win in the organisation, Compton says that the team at ONE have been accommodating in every aspect.
“They are the most organised promotion that I’ve ever worked with. It’s easy to see why they are one of the biggest promotions in the world. They have looked after me extremely well. Professional on all levels. I asked them for a fast turn around and they did exactly that. It will be 9 weeks between fights come Friday night. I’m so happy to be working with an organisation of this calibre”.
Ask and you shall receive, and Compton has done just that. Opposite him in the cage at ONE: Spirit of a Warrior in Yangon on Friday night will be the incredibly tough American fighter Matthew Semper. With 79 fights to his name with an impressicve 41 knockouts, Semper represents a real and clear threat to Compton.
“Matthew is extremely durable and has power in both hands. He has a lot of experience and I’ve heard through the grapevine that he’s a workhorse in the gym. He is an aggressive, walk-up style fighter that likes to throw bombs and dirty style boxing from the clinch”.
While Semper’s power could be seen as a possible advantage, Compton is not without his own advantages given his experience fighting in a cage with MMA gloves. A four-time Caged Muay Thai champion, Compton comes with a vast amount of experience with this rule-set and will be confident he has the skills needed to get the win.
“I have a unique style for thai boxing that carries over extremely well into the cage with 4oz gloves, hence my 6-0 record in Caged Muay Thai. My timing, distancing and variety of techniques make me a hard fighter to prepare for”.
“My keys to victory for this fight is to do what I do best. Be precise, explosive and unpredictable”.
ONE: Spirit of a Warrior takes place on Friday night from the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium in Yangon and features a ONE middleweight championship bout between Aung La “The Burmese Python” N Sang and Japan’s Ken Hasegawa.