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ARCHIVED STORY WINTER 2016
By Nicola Faroane and Brian Woodman Jr.
Twenty-five-year-old Hartford resident Stergos “Greek Dynamite” Mikkios has trained in Muay Thai for four years. But some of his biggest fights came earlier in life.
Between suffering from third-degree burns at age five to being bullied as a child, Mikkios learned early about coping with adversity. He appeared in November at Foxwoods during an amateur lightweight bout with Niko Qirjazo for Lion Fight 26 that ended in a draw and is now setting his sites on starting a professional career.
An auto welder by trade, he has competed in Muay Thai for more than two years. Tattoos on his arms and chest honor not only his chosen fighting art but Rhodes, Greece, where he spent his earlier years.
Although born in the United States to immigrant parents, he moved back to Rhodes when he was about two-years-old. He subsequently grew up in an orphanage from ages five through 12.
“I left a part of myself in that orphanage,” he said in reflection.
When he was five, he sustained the burns from hot soup. The incident drew national attention and widespread assistance for himself and his brothers -- unfortunately, he said, certain family members misspent the money.
When discussing his treatment, he expressed gratitude to the Shriners Hospitals for Children.
“They did a lot for me,” he said.
He moved back to the United States at age 12 and lived with his grandparents in East Hartford.
“I grew up in a tough neighborhood,” he said. “I always had to defend myself.”
He has competed with Thornton Martial Arts since he was 21 and cites boxers such as Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. as his role models. He added that the fictional Rocky Balboa inspires him to be both a better fighter and person.
He describes himself as a right-handed fighter that likes to change hands to confuse his opponents.
“I like to fight in the pocket,” he said. “I don’t like to get hit.”
His long-term goal is to sign with Glory Kickboxing.
Hartford’s Stergos Mikkios on Muay Thai,