The Philippines has not been represented in the Ultimate Fighting Championship since June 23, 2018. This will end on October 17, 2020 when Mark “Mugen” Striegl, 32, makes his UFC debut at “UFC Fight Night 180,” also known as “UFC on ESPN+ 38″ and “UFC Fight Island 6.”
Featuring 11 MMA bouts, “UFC Fight Island 6” will take place at the Flash Forum on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on October 18, 2020 in the UAE or October 17, 2020 in the United States. In the first bout of the evening, Striegl will fight Said Nurmagomedov (Саид Нурмагомедов), 28, of Makhachkala, Dagestan, Russia in the bantamweight division.
Nurmagomedov holds a professional MMA record of 13 wins and 2 losses, including 2 wins and 1 loss in the UFC. On the other hand, Striegl has 18 wins, 2 losses, 0 draw and 1 No Contest.
Fighting out of Baguio City, Philippines, Striegl made his professional MMA debut in 2009 in San Diego, USA. He defied the odds and travelled from Baguio City to Las Vegas, Nevada, USA amid the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
It paid off as Striegl was given a four-fight contract with the UFC. The first one was supposed to be at “UFC on ESPN 15,” also known as “UFC Vegas 7,” which took place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas on August 22, 2020.
Striegl was originally set to fight Nurmagomedov’s fellow Makhachkala native Timur “The Lucky” Valiev, 30, at “UFC Vegas 7.” However, the Filipino-American MMA fighter was pulled out of the card after testing positive for COVID-19 and was replaced by Trevin “5 Star” Jones, 30, of Guam who ended up knocking out Valiev.
“I just viewed the cancelled fight as a small setback,” Striegl told me on September 4, 2020. “Thankfully, I was able to recover fast from COVID and now I can get this quick turnaround. I’d like to thank Ruby Sports for making this happen and for this opportunity.”
In the Philippines, Striegl is trained by George Castro, who also trains Filipino-American MMA fighter Brandon “The Truth” Vera, 42, the reigning heavyweight champion of ONE Championship. From 2005 to 2013, Vera competed in the UFC.
Striegl competed in ONE Championship from 2015 to 2016. From 2017 and 2019, he fought in the Universal Reality Combat Champion, which has been renamed as URCC Global, and became the promotion’s featherweight champion.
Filipino-Americans Mark “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Muñoz, 42, and Eddie “The Filipino Phenom” Yagin, 41, were UFC fighters from 2009 to 2015 and from 2011 to 2012, respectively. Muñoz and Striegl were both born in Japan.
In 2014, Dave “Scarecrow” Galera, 42, of Baguio City became the first ever home-grown Filipino MMA fighter to compete in the UFC. Also from Baguio City, Mark Eddiva, 34, had two “The Ultimate Fighter” fights in 2014 before competing in the UFC from 2015 to 2016.
In 2017, there were three UFC fighters fighting out of the Philippines namely Jenel “The Demolition Man” Lausa, 32, Rolando “The Incredible” Dy, 29, and Carls John “Golden Boy” de Tomas, 24. Lausa competed in the promotion on November 26, 2016, on April 8, 2017, on November 18, 2017 and on June 23, 2018.
De Tomas competed in the UFC on June 17, 2017 and on December 9, 2017. Dy competed in the promotion on June 17, 2017, on September 22, 2017, on November 25, 2017 and on June 23, 2018.