Growing up in Tokyo, Japan, before moving to the United States, Mark “Mugen” Striegl started with aikido, taekwondo and wrestling. Eventually, the Filipino-American mixed martial artist started learning boxing and Muay Thai.
“I have a pretty unique blend of Muay Thai, boxing, wrestling and Brazilian jiu-jitsu,” Striegl told me in a recent interview. He explained that there are types of martial arts that do not translate well into a fight such as taekwondo kicks.
Striegl clarified that taekwondo is a great sport. According to the ONE Championship athlete, it is one of the martial arts that have done the best in MMA along with Muay Thai, boxing, wrestling, BJJ and karate.
Developed during the 1940s and 1950s, taekwondo incorporates elements of karate and Chinese martial arts with indigenous Korean martial arts traditions including gwonbeop, subak and taekkyeon. On the other hand, Muay Thai is characterized by the combined use of fists, elbows, knees and shins and is also referred to as The Art of Eight Limbs.
Just like his martial arts expertise, Striegl has a unique blend of culture and ethnicity as shown by his German-sounding surname, Japanese MMA nickname and resemblance to Mark Wahlberg. The MMA fighter and his elder brother were born and raised in Japan and their German-American father is from New York, USA while their Filipino mother is from Calapan, Oriental Mindoro, Philippines.
According to Striegl, it was his elder brother who sparked his interest in combat sports. In 2009, he made his MMA debut at “Total Combat 24” in San Diego, California, where he defeated Andy Jewett by rear naked choke.
In 2010, Striegl defeated South Korean MMA fighter Bae Young Kwon by unanimous decision at “PRO Fighting” in Taiwan. The latter, who fights for ROAD FC and ONE Championship is one of the best featherweight prospects in South Korea at the moment.
From 2009 to 2015, Striegl made an MMA record of 14 wins and two losses. The only two fighters who defeated him were Jang Yong Kim of South Korea and Reece McLaren of Australia.