Andrew “Maddog Fairtex” Miller has put the disappointment of his ONE Championship debut behind him with a fantastic performance, and now he is aiming high.
The Scottish athlete was brilliant in his bantamweight Muay Thai match with “Jordan Boy” Mohammed Bin Mahmoud as he scored two knockdowns and dominated in the clinch to earn a wide unanimous decision.
The 28-year-old admits to feeling some anxiety before he stepped into the ring at ONE: FOR HONOR in Jakarta, Indonesia because he was desperate to show the world what he was capable of.
“I put a lot of pressure on myself when I don’t perform – my boss as well. If you don’t get your win or perform well, he’ll make you train harder and harder and harder for your next one to make you sure you’re ready to go for that,” he explains.
“I felt a lot of pressure on myself for this one as kind of a crossroads fight. If I lost this one, where would I go from here?
“But I’m always confident in my abilities when I’m fighting. When my mentality’s in the right place, I’m a hard person to fight.”
When the first bell rang inside the Istora Senayan, Miller appeared to be focused and following a game plan to the letter. “Jordan Boy” had his legs battered with kicks, and he had no answer for the knees and elbows that came at him in the clinch.
To cap it all, the Malaysian ate the canvas in rounds one and two when he came forward and was met with hard right hands. The judges had an easy job after three rounds, and all three favored the Scotsman.
“I’m always a good clincher, and his clinch was not as good as mine,” he says.
“As soon as I went into the clinch, I felt the superior difference and thought, ‘I’ve got him now.’ The thing is, he’s a big boy, but training at Fairtex, I feel stronger than ever, and I know how good my clinch is.
“I was actually quite pleased with my boxing – my counterstriking. We focus on boxing a little bit, not so much, but I was really impressed with my hands.”
Miller and his team were delighted with the win, but fans did not see him smile until a few moments after he had his hand raised.
After a hard training camp and almost half a year of waiting to redeem himself on the global stage for martial arts, he admits his happiness was tempered for a few moments while another emotion took over.
“Relief. That was six months in the making, so it was just patience, patience, patience to get my hand raised,” he says.
Now that he is up and running in The Home Of Martial Arts, Miller does not want to hang around.
The representative of Fairtex gym in Pattaya, Thailand has tasted victory once on the biggest stage, and wants to again, but more than anything, he wants to prove he can compete with the best practitioners of “the art of eight limbs.”
“I want to fight the best fighters – that’s what we’re here for. I’d like to get a superstar Thai one day to see what level I’m at,” he adds.
“The way I see ONE now – you perform well, they want you back. Keep performing to the best of your ability, and you’re winning, okay, you’re ready to go.”