Get To Know: Elliot "The Dragon" Compton

Elliot “The Dragon” Compton is primed for his promotional debut at ONE: HEROES OF HONOR on Friday, 20 April, at the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.

The 29-year-old Australian martial artist is a scintillating competitor who is keen to make a lasting impression on the global stage. He will take on Brazil’s Cosmo “Good Boy” Alexandre, a four-time Muay Thai and three-time kickboxing world champion.

Compton has a repertoire of techniques that draws from many different styles, and is known for his sometimes unorthodox, but always exciting, performances. Here is everything you need to know about “The Dragon” ahead of his monumental bout as part of the inaugural ONE Super Series.

Bred In England, Raised In Australia

Compton was originally born in Swindon, England in 1989, but his family moved to Adelaide, South Australia, in the early 1990s, with his parents keen to provide a better lifestyle and more positivity for their children.

“It was such a shock for all of us. We moved from an English winter to a particularly hot Adelaide summer,” reminisces Compton, who laughs at his earliest memories of his family keeping cool under as many fans as they could buy.

After five years, they moved from South Australia to Queensland, ultimately settling in Cairns, where “The Dragon” and his sister would spend most of their youth.

Despite their love for tropical weather and the beach lifestyle, it was not all plain sailing for young Elliot, who found himself uninspired by academia, in trouble at school, and in scuffles on the streets.

Wanting a clean slate and new direction, his parents moved a little further south.

“My parents decided that it would be better if we all moved to Brisbane to give my sister and I the opportunities that we needed to succeed in life,” he says. “Now, it is where I call home.”

A Martial Arts Bloodline

Compton’s father, Steve, was a lifelong devotee to many styles of combat. He was coaching martial arts alongside his day job in construction, and had a passion for Jeet Kune Do, Muay Thai, the Filipino arts, and almost any other style he could get access to.

This passion influenced his son, who stepped into the gym at the age of five. He has practiced martial arts ever since.

“I was never forced to train,” he reveals. “My dad and my mum always just encouraged my sister and I to do whatever we wanted to do in life.

“I loved training from a young age. I just had positive encouragement from both of my parents, which was really cool. I always enjoyed being in the gym with my dad every night.”

The elder Compton’s open-minded attitude to cross-training has seen him become one of Australia’s leading coaches in various styles, achieving top ranks under Dan Inosanto in JKD, a black belt in BJJ, and much more. This always resonated with his son too, and the freedom to explore his own tastes eventually saw him focus on striking.

Competition was not a focus for the burgeoning young athlete, although he did take part in some grappling tournaments in his early days. It was not until he committed to realizing a childhood dream that he started frequenting the ring, and the cage.

“I was never really big into the whole competition thing until I was a bit older, but now, it is what I love to do. I always told my dad that I would be a world champion martial artist one day,” Compton says.

In 2008, they took a father-son training trip to Thailand, which ignited the competitive flame like it never has before.

“I just got asked to have a match when we were there, and I thought ‘When in Rome,’ and did it,” he continues. “I lost to a much more experienced guy on that night, but I just knew from that point on I loved this life, and I have no dreams of doing anything other than this.”

Taking A Stand

Back on the streets of Cairns, “The Dragon” was often forced into violent confrontations. Walking home from school could easily mean a fist-fight with a grown man at the bus stop, or standing up to gangs of kids who tried to pick on soft targets.

However, Compton was always taught to stand up to his oppressors, and to help those who were not capable of effectively helping themselves.

“I always had friends growing up, but we were never part of the ‘cool’ group, and the bullies of the area wanted to pick on other people. I wanted to stand up to them,” he says.

“I think I was definitely victimized at times, but because of my mentality and the way that I was brought up, I would not allow people to do that to me. I would not let people push me around.”

Although the martial artist’s code is to never seek out confrontation, it is ingrained in their being to help those who are weaker. While others may not have had the fortitude to fend off their attackers, Compton was there to assist. That mindset shaped him into the man he is today.

“Learning how to stand your ground, and stand up for yourself, is a big thing that you can translate into all areas of life, whether it is competition, business, relationships, or anything.”

A Champion With Big Aspirations

This month, the Aussie is commemorating the tenth anniversary of his first professional Muay Thai bout, and to celebrate, he will perform on his biggest stage yet – ONE Championship.

Since he started competing, Compton has become a WKBF Queensland, Australian, and South-Pacific Welterweight Champion, as well as the ISKA and WMC Queensland Champion. He is also the Caged Muay Thai Middleweight World Champion with a career record of 45-11.

More important to him, however, is the opposition he has faced, and the memories he has created in some of Muay Thai’s most famous stadiums.

“Winning with a spinning elbow in Lumpinee Stadium and getting knockout of the night was definitely a highlight,” he offers. “Knocking out Tum Mardsua by spinning elbow was another highlight too – he was an athlete I loved to watch for a long time, and I was a huge underdog in that match against one of the best ever!”

He has been a dominant force in Australia, and has experienced high level opposition abroad. But now, his hard work has put him on an enormous platform alongside the likes of Giorgio Petrosyan, Nong-O Gaiyanghadao, and Fabio Pinca.

It is where he feels he belongs, and defeating a Brazilian star like Alexandre would show he belongs right there in the frame with these legends of the martial arts world.