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can't connect to phpMyAdmin from external site on Ubuntu server

First, try telnet <your.mysql.server> 3306. If no connection can be established, then either your server is behind a firewall (the simplest remedy would be adding some iptables policies like here), or it's not listening on the standard MySQL port (in this case you have to edit my.cnf to enable networking, like this, for instance).

Then, if it didn't help, make sure your MySQL user is allowed to connect from your specific IP (the IP of your Minecraft server in this case): user_name@your.minecraft.ip must exist and have privileges that you need.

Finally, phpMyAdmin is a Web-based software, and the IP of the user you are trying to use to access your MySQL DB is should be IP of the server where phpMyAdmin is installed, e.g. if phpMyAdmin is installed on the same server as MySQL, then it uses user_name@localhost in order to connect to your database.

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