The UFC seems to be eating up the world like a swarm of under-fed locusts. I know some of you out there can envision the Earth being enveloped by a dark cloud that is not-so-slowly devouring everything in its path, while others can see it as a big ray of sunshine brightening up everybody’s day
Mike ‘300’ Demetriou is indeed here for anything other than that. Stamping his mark on Australian soil, this modern day Spartan has taken on not only Australia’s best, but some of the best fighters from Thailand.
Who gave you the name Mike ‘300’?
Perry Cale gave me the name in the changing rooms before one of my earlier fights. My dad is Greek Cypriot and it was the time the 300 movie came out in cinemas — and the name stuck!How similar is the training at Supafight Gym to Thailand?
Training is very similar. Donny bases the training regime on a typical Thailand session. The main difference is when you are in Thailand, you have no other worries in the world. No bills. No work. No deadlines. Just living and breathing Muay Thai.How does the volume of training fit into your full-time job as a draftsman?
Work definitely throws a spanner in the mix in regards to training. I often train before work some mornings if I don’t run. I run or do my strength and core work over my lunch break and I train after work. I think the only thing that suffers in this instance is my sleep!What motivates you to fight?
I love the sport of Muay Thai. The endless amounts of technique and ring craft to learn and perfect. I love that it keeps me fit and strong. And I love how I am constantly tested come fight time.
Does it keep you more motivated knowing that you are fighting some of the best in the world?
I have fought some really big names, specifically in 2012. I think this is a good way to keep learning. I love getting in there and testing myself against these big names. Obviously, it’s a steep learning curve but it does ensure I’m at training every session.What do you think are the benefits of training in Thailand?
Apart from being able to fully focus on training, it would have to be training with other fighters more experienced than me. This is the fastest way to learn I believe. I also think working with new trainers provides a fresh new perspective on technique and mixes it all up well. What is the comparison in fighting a Thai over a Westerner?
I find Westerners a lot more aggressive. They use their hands a lot more. A Thai will fight more technical and use the higher scoring techniques. They are also very strong in the grapple. They will tend to sit back, trick you and outscore you.Do you prefer fighting Thais over Westerners?
I don’t really mind the type of fighter that I am up against. I am a Thai stylist. I love my kicks. I love my elbows and I love my knees and the grapple. I think executing these techniques effectively and efficiently is what will win a fight, no matter who it is.
How do you feel before fighting the champions you have?
Those that know me know I’m pretty relaxed. I don’t get too stressed out coming up to a fight. I’m not over-confident or super-pumped. You are most likely going to find me sitting down out the back eating and lazing around – the same thing I do the whole day of the fight. I am confident in my abilities to perform. If I train hard, I should have nothing to worry about.Do you give Don ideas of who you would like to fight?
I leave all the matchmaking to him or the promoter. I’m happy to fight anyone they think I am ready for. Don has been my trainer for a long time now, so there is a lot of trust and respect between us.Are there any rematches you would like?
Any fight I have lost I would, of course, like to rematch.Favourite fight so far?
I was matched with the Cambodian fighter, Chey Kosal. He was known as a very aggressive fighter. Big leg kicks and always knocking out people with elbows. Everything just went right for me in that fight and I used my reach to defend and attack, moving around the ring and constantly scoring, finally taking the win on points.
Don’t know who has the hardest kick but in one of my fights, I got my front leg ferociously kicked by another southpaw, Yoshi Yehuda. My leg looked like it had been hit by a car the next day.Hardest clincher?
Superbon. He was very technical in the clinch.Most difficult preparation?
There isn’t really one in particular. Partly I suppose because there have been plenty of times in the lead up to my fights, that my training has been compromised, like if I was injured from a fight or training incident. If work has been extremely busy, stressful or I have had a lot of overtime, these situations can make preparations tough but no excuses – that’s the fight game and you will very rarely be 100 per cent.Is there anyone in Australia you would like to fight?
No one specifically. There are so many Aussie fighters out there around my weight. Whoever I am matched with, I will fight. This year I really want to focus on getting to Thailand again and having as many fights as possible there.What has been your most memorable fighting experience?
My last fight for 2012 on the Rebellion show after a very tough year. I fought and knocked out Kampan Sanatweesook in the second round — it was a dream to end the year!You recently fought Elliot Compton at Rebellion Muay Thai V.
I was quite happy with my fight against Elliot Compton. I felt I was countering well against his hands with my left kick, or often punches of my own. I have been working on my hands the last few months so I’m happy to see they are improving.
I seemed to be able to control the fight in the grapple and also at a distance with my kicks. Each round I gained confidence and was able to pick him apart over the five rounds. He is a tough boy and I was really pleased that I had my first win to start off 2013.
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