It's been a busy few days for Mark Striegl.
Last Sunday he won gold in the 66 kg division at the Singapore Wrestling Open and the following Tuesday, he was in Manila for a press conference ahead of next month's ONE: "Valor of Champions" event, where he will be making his promotional debut against Casey Suire.
The 13-1 bantamweight now heads back to Singapore to continue his training camp at Evolve MMA and the popular Filipino says he is excited to be making his ONE Championship debut in Manila.
"I can't wait. I love fighting in Manila. I was there for the last ONE Championship show and the energy in the arena was amazing. Just the thought of it excites me."
Striegl will be looking to establish himself as an immediate contender for the 135-pound title with an impressive win in his promotional debut but he took time out from training to return to his roots and compete in wrestling last weekend and says it was an enjoyable experience.
"I had a lot of fun and I won gold for my weight class. I was excited about it because wrestling was my main sport when I was younger and I actually wanted to compete in this year's SEA games and represent the Philippines, but unfortunately wrestling will not be included."
While his wrestling dreams are on the back burner for the time being, Striegl is focusing on facing an opponent at the SM Mall of Asia Arena on April 24th, one who already has two wins for ONE Championship and boasts an impressive 5-0 overall record.
In 14 fights Striegl has only been the distance twice, while Casey Suire has finished every opponent he has ever faced and the Filipino feels this could be another fast fight.
"I think he's a good fighter and his strongest points are his physical strength and grappling. Whenever I fight, I always try to go for the finish and I'll be looking for a first-round finish with Casey."
Striegl has nine first-round finishes on his resume and has beaten numerous opponents who would go on to sign with ONE Championship including Bae Young Kwon, Yusuke Kawanago, Ev Ting, and Harris Sarmiento. He will be hoping to continue this streak when he debuts for Asia's biggest MMA promotion in Manila.
Prior to his assault on the ONE Championship 135-pound division, Striegl relocated to Singapore to join the Evolve MMA fight team, which he felt was a necessary step to take his career to the next level.
"I miss the Philippines, everything except the traffic, but Evolve MMA is one of the best camps in the world and the best in Asia, with no disrespect meant to my former team in Baguio, as there is nowhere like it in the Philippines. I've been working with some top notch guys who are Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu BJJ black belts or Lumpinee champions or have wrestled at the Olympics."
While Striegl might have had to leave the Philippines behind in order to have access to the highest caliber training, he is looking forward to returning to fight and says he plans to hang around long enough to watch ONE Championship shareholder Manny Pacquiao face Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas.
"I'll be in the Philippines for that. I definitely plan on watching Manny's fight along with the rest of the country," he said.
Striegl has enjoyed success with smaller promotions in Asia such as the URCC, PXC, Pro FC and the now defunct Legend FC and is ranked as one of the top-rated prospects in the region, but the 26 year old will have a point to prove when he fights for ONE Championship for the first time.
It will be his first time fighting on the biggest stage in Asia and Striegl has never competed inside a venue as large as the SM Mall of Asia Arena before, so he is determined to make a lasting impression on any fight fans in Asia who are seeing him in action for the first time.
"I'm going to try and win by flying triangle! Just kidding, but people are going to see that I have improved in every aspect of my game since joining Evolve MMA and I'll be looking for a knockout or submission."