January 31, 2023

Baguio-based Filipino-American mixed martial arts fighter Mark “Mugen” Striegl remains in high spirit following his devastating loss against his Russian opponent in the undercard of Ultimate Fighting Championship Fight Night 180 in Abu Dhabi.

Said Nurmagomedov of Russia pulled out a huge victory after forcing the referee to stop the fight that lasted just 52 seconds in the first round due to ground and pound.

The 32-year-old Striegl got tagged with a counter left hook, as he tried to go for a one-leg takedown. From that, the Russian fighter launched a vicious ground and pound for the win.

“It is not the result I wanted but this is a crazy game we play. I would like to thank Syndicate MMA and all of my training partners for helping me get ready. One loss won’t define me and I’ll bounce back obsessively,” Striegl said after the fight.

Striegl, who was a sambo gold medalist during the 30th Southeast Asian Games, suffered his first loss in five years since he was defeated by Australian-Filipino Reece McLaren in 2015.

A  former champion in the Universal Reality Combat Championship, Striegl’s MMA record dropped to 18 wins with three losses while Nurmagomedov improved his record to 14 wins and two losses.

Striegl was supposed to make his UFC debut last August against Timur Valiev of Russia but the fight was cancelled after he caught the Covid-19 virus while he was in training in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A.

He immediately went back to training after fully recovering from the infection and after UFC announced he will face another opponent in Abu Dhabi. 

Striegl, who also saw action in ONE Championship, is the only Filipino fighter currently signed with UFC, the world’s biggest MMA promotion. – Harley F. Palangchao