Mark Striegl is one of only a few mixed martial arts fighters with Filipino roots to have set foot on the Ultimate Fighting Championship Octagon.
On Feb. 20 (Philippine time), Striegl will make his second stint after an unsuccessful debut as he takes on American Chass Skelly in a featherweight undercard of the UFC Fight Night: Dos Anjos vs. Fiziev at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.
This time, he wants to make the most out of the opportunity.
“I’m excited to do this and we’re about two weeks out. We look forward to the day,” said the Baguio-based Striegl, who flew to Arizona to set up camp with renowned MMA coach George Castro at MMA Lab.
Interestingly, Striegl and Skelly tote similar fight records of 18 wins against three losses and they are both grappling specialists. Fourteen of Striegl’s victories were by submission.
“I’m fighting a scrappy MMA veteran in UFC, but I think I can match up well with him,” said Striegl, who is aching to bounce back from a stoppage loss to Russia’s Said Nurmagomedov in his UFC debut in October 2020.
The 33-year-old Striegl, who is fighting the second of the four fights he signed with the UFC, was supposed to see action last year, but he sustained an injury during his training camp.
“It’s definitely good to not have to worry and think about that. It feels great to be healthy now,” added Striegl, born to an American-German father and Filipino mother.
The main bout will be between Brazilian-American Rafael dos Anjos, a former UFC lightweight champion, and Kyrgyzstani Rafael Fiziev.
Striegl, former champion of the Ultimate Reality Combat Championship, is just one of several fighters of Filipino descent who have made it to the UFC. The others popular ones were Mark Muñoz and Brandon Vera.
Homegrown Filipino fighters CJ De Tomas and Grabriel Dy also saw action in the UFC.