Mark Striegl sees URCC belt as his ticket to the UFC

Mark Striegl URCC

Mark Striegl wants that URCC belt to set himself up for the UFC.

It will be a homecoming of sorts for Filipino-American fighter Mark Striegl (15-2 MMA, 3-0 URCC) as he returns to the URCC this August.

“Mugen” will make his return to the promotion where he got his first dose of the Pinoy fight scene six years ago. Prior to his URCC return, he last saw action in ONE Championship where he found some success, winning two of his three fights with the promotion.

“Finally man, [I’m] fighting again and fighting in the original Philippine MMA promotion where I started in the Philippines, so I’m happy,” the elated Striegl shared with Dojo Drifter.

Since his Philippine debut back in 2011, half of Striegl’s fights have been held in Manila regardless of the promotion. For the 29-year-old, fighting in front of the Filipino fans has always excited him the most. Plus, having his upcoming fight in the historic Araneta Colosseum makes his return extra special.

In a few weeks, Striegl will make his return to the URCC against former bantamweight champ Andrew Benibe (6-9 MMA, 6-7 URCC).

“I fought at the Araneta before in the PXC–that’s where I beat (Harris) Sarmiento. I have a good track record in Araneta, and I think it’s a fantastic venue. It’s where the ‘Thrilla in Manila’ happened, and I’m excited!”

Fighting has opened a lot of doors for Mark outside the cage, such as endorsement deals with mainstream brands. But for him, the one opportunity he’s looking forward to most is fighting for the world’s marquee MMA promotion, the UFC. And he believes that his best shot at achieving this goal is by first becoming a URCC champion, following in the footsteps of former title-holders Mark Eddiva, Dave Galera and most recently, CJ de Tomas.

“Fighting is my job. I’m not a ‘model,’ those things I did do but on the side. I’m a fighter first and foremost.”

“And to be able to go to the UFC now that I have the opportunity, that would be fantastic. That’s what I wanted since I started in mixed martial arts. I have that opportunity now, my eyes are set on the URCC title and then getting to the UFC, that’s it.”

To do that, he knows he has to conquer the featherweight food chain currently lorded over by South Korean champion Do-Gyum Lee. Always looking to get better across the board, Striegl is determined to prove himself as one of URCC’s best.

“You know, it’s mixed martial arts, you have to work on everything. I want to bring that level up even further,” Striegl said. “I’d like to crack at the featherweight belt against [Lee] and bring the belt back to the Philippines.”

Mike Miguel

If there’s anything MMA related going down in the Philippines, Mike would know about it. With a knack for photography and social media, Mike never misses a beat.
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