The last month has been full of grueling adjustments, hardships, and trials for MMA fighter, Mark “Mugen” Striegl.
On Tuesday, in a sort of homecoming at the City of Dreams in Parañaque City, he was simply happy as he enjoyed answering questions from the media for the ONE Championship Valor of Champions presser, and picking food from the buffet table.
The celebration for the fighter out of Evolve MMA, however, was short-lived, for he was scheduled to return to Singapore on the same day.
Despite the grueling schedule, he is determined to fly back to Manila, as he will headline for the fight card slated on April 24, at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“I’ve been to the MOA Arena in the past and the atmosphere for fights is just electric,” Striegl told reporters. “Leaving the Philippines was difficult but times like today is nice.”
Holding a record of 13 wins against one loss, Striegl, a longtime resident of Baguio City but currently based in Singapore, has gone through rigorous training. Although it has been exhausting, he says it is for his own good.
“There are a lot of good gyms in the Philippines, but Evolve MMA is one of the top academies in Asia. Working with the team on a daily basis has been extremely helpful, and I know I will benefit from them,” he said.
“To make the Evolve team, you have to get through a lot of trials. They will test you. It’s really a grueling process and they will test you in a lot of areas.”
Striegl has been in Singapore for a month now, as part of his preparation for a battle against undefeated Casey Suire (5-0) for his ONE Championship debut. He admits it is tough to be away from home.
In spite of this, Striegl gets to live with his wife, Starr Cabuco, a former Ateneo Lady Eagle, which makes everything easier, even when the couple are spending time away from Baguio.
“I’m just thankful that we were able to move together. At least we could support each other. It would have sucked if you get married and say see you later,” Striegl, who got married last December, shared.
Training continues for Striegl and company, and he is already looking forward to coming home.
He can’t wait to get back.
“I can’t wait to feel the energy from the crowd. I can’t wait to be there in the flesh and see a sold-out arena. I’m really excited.”
Tickets for Valor of Champions are now available via SM Tickets. ONE Championship also partnered with City of Dreams to promote the event.
The World Welterweight Championship battle between Ben Askren and Luis Santos highlights the fight card as its main event.