- Mark Striegl believes he still has a lot more to prove as a fighter in the UFC
- Chas Skelly is set to be Striegl's next opponent when they meet at UFC Fight Night 201
- Striegl is happy to have his old coach back and to be fighting at 145 pounds again
Filipino-American fighter Mark Striegl will have his second shot at getting his first win in the UFC, and he recognizes how hard it was to make it into one of the world's top mixed martial arts promotions.
In a virtual press conference, Striegl was asked about his journey to the UFC.
“I think things have come full circle and my view on everything that we do in life is to either go big or go home. If you’re doing something and you’re spending so much time and you’re invested in it, wouldn’t you want to test yourself out and do the best you can and aim for the very top? To get into the UFC, to get this opportunity, it’s a blessing," Striegl explained to International Business Times sports editor and combat sports analyst Nissi Icasiano.
"I just feel like everything’s come full circle and it’s my time now."
Before he made the jump to the UFC, Striegl had fought in promotions such as ONE Championship and the Universal Reality Combat Championship.
His UFC debut was highly looked forward to by his fans in the Philippines because it has been a while since the country had a representative in the organization–the last being Rolando Dy and Jenel Lausa in 2018.
Striegl was quickly put away by Said Nurmagomedov with a left hook and ground-and-pound barely a minute into their fight after "Mugen" shot for a single-leg takedown.
The 33-year-old from Baguio City, Philippines revealed that he decided to move back to featherweight because weight cutting in the 135-pound weight class has been very difficult for him due to the muscle mass that he has put on in recent years.
In search of redemption, the 2019 Southeast Asian Games gold medalist in combat sambo faces promotion veteran and submission wizard Chas Skelly at UFC Fight Night 201 on February 19.
“I think he’s (Skelly) a great opponent for me to really test myself, he’s a veteran of the sport, veteran of the UFC. I think he started in the UFC in 2014. I believe it’s the perfect opportunity for me to showcase my skill,” Striegl said of his upcoming opponent.
Among his seven wins in the UFC, Skelly finished six of them–four by submission and two by knockout.
Striegl will have his hands full against Skelly, but he is confident that he can pull off the win after reuniting with his former coach George Castro of MMA Lab in Peoria, Arizona.
“Nothing against my old team that I worked with for my last UFC fight [against Nurmagomedov], they’re a great team, but it definitely helps to have a coach that knows you and that you put in a lot of time and work with together,” he shared.
Fans in the Philippines can watch Striegl’s fight and the entirety of UFC Fight Night 201 live via the Tap Go streaming application on February 20, while the card will be broadcasted in the United States through ESPN+ on February 19 at 4:00 PM ET.