MARK Striegl tests his prowess on the biggest stage of Asian mixed martial arts as he gears up for his ONE Championship debut against Casey Suire in Valor of Champions on April 24 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Filipino-American MMA star moved to the premier outfit in the continent a few months ago after being the face of the Pacific X-Treme Combat for two years.
“I know I’m going to level up here and fulfill my true potential,” said the 26-year-old Striegl, who now trains under renowned gym Evolve MMA. “The timing was just perfect.”
Striegl has won all but one of his 13 fights, with most of his victories coming by way of early submissions, but he is in unchartered territory in the ONE Championship and will face an acid test right away in the form of an undefeated American in Suire.
“It’s not like (matchmaker) Matt (Hume) threw him a ‘give me a bone’ type of fight,” ONE vice president Rich Franklin said. “This fight is where he can make the statement that he’s on the big stage now and he can handle the pressure and the level of competition.”
The 5-foot-8 Striegl tries to take advantage of his size and speed against Suire, who’s two inches shorter than him.
“He’s definitely a tough opponent,” Striegl said. “But I think my strongest points will be my height and speed advantage. He’s a shorter, stockier, and bullish kind of fighter. I think those will play into effect.”
Striegl and another explosive Pinoy fighter in Eugene Toquero are just two of more locals expected to be in the still-developing 10-fight card, bannered by the welterweight title fight between champion Ben Askren and Luis Santos.