The fighters mixed martial artist Mark “Mugen” Striegl, 28, look up to are Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao, 37, and Brandon “The Truth” Vera, 38. Pacquiao is the first and only eight-division world champion while Vera is ONE Championship’s reigning heavyweight champion.
“Well, the fighter that I look up to the most is Manny Pacquiao,” Striegl told me in a recent interview. “He’s such a great fighter.”
“He’s a good person,” Striegl said of Pacquiao. “He’s put the Philippines on the map with boxing.”
Both Striegl and Vera are American-Filipino. Born to and raised by a German-American father and a Filipino mother in Tokyo, Japan, Striegl moved to the United States and eventually settled in the Philippines.
On the other hand, Vera was born and raised in Norfolk, Virginia, USA. His father is of Filipino descent and his step mother is Filipino while his birth mother is Italian-American.
Striegl described Vera as “another fantastic fighter” and “overall a great guy.” The two trained together in the U.S. and both are currently signed with ONE Championship.
Vera used to be the WEC 13 Heavyweight Grand Prix Champion. He formerly competed in the Ultimate Fighting Championship and the World Extreme Cagefighting.
Since 2002, Vera has won 14 MMA fights and was defeated in seven others. On January 1, 2011, he lost to Thiago Silva via unanimous decision but the result was overturned after it was found out that the latter falsified his urine sample.
On the other hand, Striegl won 14 out of the 16 MMA fights he had since 2009. The only two fighters who defeated him were South Korean fighter Jang Yong Kim and Filipino-Australian fighter Reece McLaren via leg scissors choke submission and rear-naked choke submission, respectively.
Striegl started training aikido in 1994 and wrestling in 1996 and when he was in high school, he joined the Wajutsu Keisyukai Gods dojo. After high school, he moved from Japan to San Diego, California, USA with his family.