Moving back to a higher weight class would hopefully change the fortunes of Filipino-American mixed martial artist Mark Striegl.
Fighting in the heavier featherweight category this time around, the 33-year-old Striegl is looking forward to his return to the Octagon this coming February 20 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The 5’8” Striegl will be looking for his first win the Universal Fighting Championship when he clashes with American Chas Skelly.
This will be Striegl’s second UFC match since his debut in UFC Fight Night 201. His match will be one of the 11 undercards of the lightweight encounter between Rafael Dos Anjos and Rafael Fiziev.
“Majority of my career, I fought in the 145-lbs class, I just feel that making it that 135 (bantamweight) is a pretty hard weight class,” said Striegl in an online Zoom huddle with Filipino scribes, made possible through Tap Go DMV.
Striegl tried shifting to a lower weight class for UFC 180 last October 17, 2020, but Russian fighter Said Nurmagomedov knocked him out in the first round.
At a heavier category, Striegl said he feels more upbeat of his chances of improving on his 18-3 win-loss record.
“As I got older, I put on a lot of muscle mass over the years. Maybe in my early 20s, I could have made it easily,” added Streigl, who seeks to become the next Fil-American fighter to have a successful career in UFC since Brandon Vera with a great start in 2005.
Striegl’s preparation for the fight is also the subject of a mini-documentary that is being produced by the Philippines’ newest sports channel Tap Digital Media Ventures.
The three-part documentary will tackle Striegl’s journey from Japan to promotions like the URCC, PXC, and One Championship all the way to the UFC.
This time, coach George Castro will once again be on his side.
“It’s great to be with him again. He’s my ex-coach. And we’ve been through some great fights together in the Philippines,” added Striegl.
Striegl is currently at Castro’s MMA Lab in Peoria, Arizona where he has been training since January 3, 2022.