As the judges results were being read aloud, an ear-to-ear smile emerges in the center of the ring.

As the judges results were being read aloud, an ear-to-ear smile emerges in the center of the ring.

The joy comes from months of hard work and training, resulting in a championship for Darrell Macklin at Final Round Championships Fight Night 17 at the Ardmore Convention Center.

 Macklin had his armed raised on Saturday night, after winning the light heavyweight belt in his first ever Muay Thai fight.

“It feels amazing, I am honored to have this opportunity to fight,” Macklin said. “I was not pleased with my performance, I wish I could have done more, but I am pleased to get the win.”

Macklin is a recruiter for the United States Air Force, he moved from Chicago, Ill. to Ardmore two years ago. 

After seeing an advertisement for Ardmore’s Green Family Martial Arts Center, Macklin found his way into a new fighting style.

“I had talked to Mr. Green in the past about fighting,” Macklin said. “It just kind of clicked, he is a real great guy.”

Troy Green, founder of the Green Family Martial Arts Center, was proud of what he saw from Macklin on Saturday night. 

Seeing his pedigree in fighting, it was only a matter of time before Green saw Macklin raising a belt above his head in Muay Thai.

“He is just a real mellow dude, he just comes in and we don’t have to put him to work, he just works,” Green said. “He pulls the other guys along with him and puts them to work too. He will stay late and help the other guys and try and better their training.”

Macklin has a history of success in other combat sports, as he was a Golden Gloves champion boxer in San Antonio, Texas, as well as a champion in the Air Force. Even with all his success, Macklin remains humble.

“I wouldn’t say winning is typical for me,” Macklin said. “Every new person presents a new challenge. So you never know, every dog has its day.”

Being always hungry for more, Macklin can’t wait to step in the ring again and defend his title as champion.

“Definitely always improving,” Macklin said. “Going back and looking at my video, seeing at what I felt i did wrong and working on it. I just have to keep evolving and keep learning.”