The front line is the center of a conflict or struggle between two parties. In the art of combat it all comes down to whose techniques and determination is strong enough to withstand the brunt.
Whether the goal be championship gold or Olympic prestige, a Fighter’s heart takes him through an ordeal because in his mind there is something desirable at the end of the tunnel.
For those fight fans who aren’t familiar with this fighter, Mark “Mugen” Martinez Striegl is a half Filipino half American mixed martial arts fighter living in Baguio City, the Philippines.
Mark was born and raised in Tokyo at a time when Japan was the epicenter of global MMA. Being a huge fan of the sport and having wrestled in high school, Mark decided to take the plunge – he joined a local MMA gym and never looked back.
Mark attended college in San Diego, where he made his professional debut in July of 2009.
Since his pro start Mark has been on a absolute tear, undefeated at 11-0. He has competed in cities all over Asia, including Taipei, Kuala Lumpur, Macau, Bangkok, Saipan, Baguio, and Manila.
As an aggressive fighter and grappling specialist, Mark always pushes the pace, having finished 9 of his 11 opponents via submission. (check out Striegl’s official website – www.markmugen.com)
On 17 November 2012, Striegl will face his toughest opponent to date in Harris Sarmiento (35-23-0). This will be Striegl’s second appearance in the PXC after winning his impressive debut last September by defeating Robert Wusstig via first round submission.
“The fight went as planned. The game plan was to neutralize his reach and unorthodox attacks with lots of movement and feints. I was able to capitalize on a position early in the fight and locked in the Fil-American.”
Many considered Striegl as one of the best elite featherweights in Asia and the best grappler in his weight category.
Sarmiento won’t be an easy fight for Striegl, that’s for sure, as he’ll “Mugen” will face a crafty veteran who already fought and beaten some of the best lightweights in the world.
When asked if Sarmiento is his toughest opponent to date, Striegl said, ” I don’t know if Harris is my toughest opponent but he’s certainly high up on that list. I’m excited and ready to go. Harris has fought some of the best in the business and fighting him will be a true test of my skills.”
The fight will be contested at 145 lbs. limit, which is lower than Sarmiento’s original weight class (l55 lbs.). We’ll see if this weight cut will affect Sarmiento’s performance when he goes up against a massive featherweight fighter in Striegl.
Being an underdog is not new to Striegl, he doesn’t care about who has the advantage on paper.
“I’ve been an underdog several of my fights, especially the earlier ones. Whether you’re the underdog or favorite, it doesn’t change the fact that you’re both going to punch each other in the face once the cage doors close. I just think about the fight itself.”
Everyone knows that Sarmiento has some powers on his hands that can knock anybody out with one shot. So what would be Striegl’s game plan going to this fight, will he trade punches with Sarmiento or he’ll take him to the ground early in the fight?
“You’ll have to wait and see.” Striegl said.
Despite of being an underdog going to this fight, it seems like on fight night, November 17, Striegl will have a lot of fans screaming for him compared to Sarmiento because of the fact that “Mugen” has been fighting here regularly and has gained massive fans on a short period of time. It will surely boost his confidence and will make him much more dangerous during the fight.
“I think it will make me more confident. Fighting at such storied arena in Manila and with friends from Baguio and Tokyo watching will make the outing even more special. There’s pressure in every fight and I tend to do well under pressure. I’m just excited for this weekend.”
Mark is an unbelievable grappler, many fight fans believed that his going to submit Sarmiento next week. The fact that he is training in Baguio with a lot of very good strikers is really helping him to improve his overall game.
“It feels great to have the support of the fans, and regarding a submission…you just might see a knockout.”
He is not looking past Sarmiento but he hopes to be the no. 1 title contender for the PXC featherweight belt after beating Sarmiento in an impressive fashion.
Striegl is training at his regular gym in Baguio City, Philippines, Fight Corps MMA with the help of Aj Pyro as his strength and conditioning coach.
“AJ has taken my fitness to a new level. He’s truly a strength and conditioning guru. He’s also helped me fine tune my understanding of nutrition.”
So what are the adjustments that Striegl made in preparation for his war against Sarmiento?
“I’ve pretty much done my normal routine here in Baguio. Nothing like training in the mountains of Baguio!” Striegl added.
Striegl is a huge featherweight here in Asia. Every time he’s inside the cage/ring, you can see that he is much bigger than his opponent. Does that means that he’s having a hard time cutting weight? Striegl told us that he only had a hard time cutting weight once in his career.
“I used to think that I was a big featherweight but not as much any more. Robert Wusstig was bigger than me in my last fight and looking at some of the featherweights in the UFC these days makes me wonder. I’ve never had a tough time cutting weight. Well, only once…but that was because I ate too much fried chicken.” (Laughs)
When asked if he has any plans to move up to lightweight, “In fact I was thinking of the exact opposite. I’ve been toying with the idea of moving down to bantamweight (135 lbs). Right now, unless I grow some more, I’m too small for lightweight. Who knows though, I have a pretty adaptable body type.”
Despite of many offers from other MMA promotions in Asia before, Striegl happily chose PXC to make his home promotion because the Guam-based MMA organization has recently made a gigantic waves in the Philippines.
“I feel great fighting under the PXC banner and they’ve treated me very well since I joined. They’ve made big waves in the Philippines recently and I thought that PXC would be the best option among promotions.”
Both Striegl and Sarmiento are friends but it doesn’t mean that they’ll play safe and will try not to hurt each other during the fight; that’s not what these two guys are going to give us on November 17. I am predicting that these warriors will surely give us a fight that we’ll never forget.
Here’s Striegl’s message to Sarmiento, “Harris, it was fun hanging out with you at the last event. Regardless of the outcome, lets have a beer after the fight.”
Striegl would also love to thank his fans for their support and to other people who has been there for him since day one.
“Thanks for all the support everyone! You’ve all been great. Please come watch my fight at Smart Araneta Coliseum on November 17. I’d also would like to thank my older brother and manager Frank, my team mates at Fight Corps MMA, my sponsors Jaded MMA, SNAP and Jujubees…and thanks for the interview MMAORIENT.”
You can also catch all the action in PXC 34 wherever you are as Sherdog.com will be streaming it live.
Check out PXC.COM.PH for more updates!