KNOWN for sporting a clean shave, Mark Striegl appeared in the press launch of another staging of the Pacific X-Treme Combat on Thursday with a full beard.
And the prominent 25-year-old Filipino-American mixed martial artist hopes a change in look will translate to a change in fortune as he collides with a familiar foe in Ev Ting in PXC 41 on Saturday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
“I wanted to try something different,” Striegl bared after the press conference at Country Spice Restaurant in Quezon City. “I just wanted to mix it up, so I mixed up my training and mixed up my look.”
The last time Striegl donned a bearded look was during his professional MMA debut in 2009.
Since then, he put up a 12-fight winning streak to become one of the top Filipino prospects to make the jump to the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
But coming off the first defeat of his career against Jang Yong Kim just last September, Striegl decided to tweak his routine, including his training.
Apart from his usual training sessions in Tokyo, Japan and in Baguio, Striegl also spent the last month preparing in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia ahead of his fight with Ting, the native of New Zealand whom he already forced to tap out with a rear-naked choke in February 2012.
It turned out to be Ting’s first submission loss.
And nearly two years later, the two welterweights meet again.
“I’m taking this one personally,” said the New Zealander, who trained for two-and-a-half weeks-- more than double his six-day preparation against the Filipino pride the last time.
That’s why Striegl remains wary of Ting, who totes a 6-2 win-loss record, in their rematch, one of the featured bouts in the 10th staging of one of Asia-Pacific’s top MMA promotions in the country.
“We’re both completely different fighters now,” Striegl said. “I just have to play it by ear and see what openings he gives me.”
Striegl hopes to have the same winning result as compatriot Ale Cali, the Davaoeño pride who will appear in the main event to defend his flyweight title against Louis Smolka.