With the entire Mall of Asia Arena crowd behind him, the Filipino-American bantamweight needed just one round to make the previously unbeaten Casey Suire submit.
Last October 28, at the Grand Ballroom of City of Dreams Manila in Pasay City, it was announced that Striegl would face another unbeaten opponent, 8-0 Australian Jordan Lucas. Moreover, he would once again co-main event a Manila card, this time featuring Filipino-American MMA veteran Brandon Vera.
For Striegl, it’s a huge honor to be part of a card headlined by Vera, since they used to train together in California. “We actually trained together in San Diego before,” he disclosed. “And now we’re fighting on the same card, it’s definitely an honor.”
After suffering his first career loss two years ago against Jang Yong Kim at PXC 39, the six-year MMA veteran believes it was a wake-up call and a learning experience. “That was a learning experience. When you learn the most and when you rise from defeat, that’s when you improve,” he reflected about the loss.
After winning his last two fights by submission, Striegl believes that he is primed and ready to challenge Bibiano Fernandes for the ONE World Bantamweight Championship. But the 27-year old is not looking past Jordan Lucas, saying “I definitely have my sights set on the world title but my opponent is no slouch. He is a champion in Australia for a reason.”
If Striegl gets past Lucas, ONE CEO Victor Cui stated that it might be his key to a championship shot. When asked whether he can match up well against Fernandes, Striegl had only nice things to say about the Brazilian grappler. “Bibiano of course is a fantastic champion. I believe in my skills as a fighter and I think I can matchup well with him.”
The Filipino bantamweight believes that his training with Singapore-based MMA Camp Evolve is the reason why he is ready for any challenges that will face him. “The level is so high at Evolve. It’s like I’m swimming with sharks everyday. There are so many world champions there not just in MMA but a lot of martial art,” he said.
Moreover, the holistic approach to training has given Striegl a new identity as a fighter. “Everyday I’m adding new skills. It’s been great personally and as a martial artist. So you’re gonna see a new Mark Striegl come December 11.”