Mark “Mugen” Striegl, 31, of Baguio City, Philippines paid a courtesy call at the Malacañang Palace in Manila, Philippines on December 18, 2019. The Japan-born Filipino-American mixed martial artist and sambist received a prestigious medal from President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, 74.
Including Striegl, around 600 Filipino athletes attended the event. Duterte conferred each of them with a medal representing the rank of Kamagi under the Order of Lapulapu, which is awarded to officials and personnel of the government and private individuals who “actively participated and contributed significantly to an activity pursuant to a campaign or advocacy of the President,” according to Executive Order No. 35 Section 1.
From November 30, 2019 to December 11, 2019, the Philippines hosted the SEA 2019 and outperformed all the other 10 participating countries namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Timor Leste, Thailand and Vietnam. It was the 30th edition of the biennial regional multi-sport event.
The 11 countries competed in 56 sports. It marked the first time sambo was included in the SEA Games.
Striegl and 10 other athletes represented the Philippines in sambo. On December 5, 2019, he competed in the -74kg division at the Angeles University Foundation in Angeles, Pampanga, Philippines.
In the semi-finals, Striegl defeated Deni Fadhillah, 21, of Indonesia. After defeating Arthit Khuansathan, 22, of Thailand in the semi-finals, Ashvin Singh Jaswant, 28, of Singapore lost to Striegl in the final round.
As incentive, Striegl and 148 other Filipino SEA Games 2019 gold medalists will each receive 300,000 pesos from the Philippine government. Meanwhile, 117 silver medalists and 121 bronze medalists will get 150,000 pesos and 60,000 pesos each, respectively.
As a professional MMA fighter, Striegl has been competing since 2009. He holds a record of 18 wins, 2 losses, 0 draw and 1 No Contest.
On December 30, 2019, Striegl and 35 other athletes from the Cordillera Administration Region who excelled in international competitions in 2019 will be honored in the Kafagway/Kordillera International Sports Luminary Awards Podium (Kislap) in Baguio City. Out of the 36 honorees, 19 are SEA Games 2019 gold medalists.
Since 2018, Striegl has been reigning as the URCC Global Featherweight World Champion. Here is an interview with the MMA fighter and sambist weeks before the SEA Games 2019: