Years before becoming a professional martial artist, ONE Super Series fighter Stergos “The Greek Dynamite” Mikkios, 28, was a kid bullied because of his scars. When he was a little boy, an accident involving boiling hot soup left him scalded and scarred.
“I was bullied a lot growing up,” Mikkios shared. “I had to learn to stand up for myself. I was made fun of through my entire school years with those scars.”
It was those scars that provided mean-spirited children the ammunition that they needed to torment Mikkios growing up. For him, it was that oppression that ultimately taught him how to fend for himself.
“I had to sort of carry myself with some dignity and fight for my respect,” Mikkios said. “A lot of kids made fun of me. I had visual scars that led to kids bullying me.”
“I grew up with bullies,” the Greek-American martial artist recalled. “I grew up by fighting for myself just to get some respect. That is what made me a fighter.”
Mikkios is no stranger to adversity. Long before he first laced a pair of Muay Thai gloves, he was already battling the odds.
At the age of six, Mikkios was sent to an orphanage in Greece after his parents split up. At 11 years old, he was forced to move back to his birthplace of the United States and live with his grandparents after the orphanage he was living in closed down.
While the struggle began at an early age for Mikkios, it was not until 2012 that he found his way into martial arts. By that time, he was a 22-year-old man.
After seeing mixed martial arts on the television, Mikkios found the motivation to visit Thornton Martial Arts in East Hartford, Connecticut. Immediately, he fell in love with martial arts, especially Muay Thai.
On May 12, 2018, Mikkios made his debut in ONE Championship’s striking-only league ONE Super Series. He lost to his Serbian opponent Ognjen Topic, 32, in a Muay Thai contest at “ONE: Grit and Glory.”
On September 8, 2018, Mikkios will compete in ONE Super Series in a Muay Thai contest again. He will face Han Zi Zao, 23, of China at “ONE: Beyond the Horizon” at the Baoshan Arena in Shanghai, China.
Here is a clip featuring Mikkios: