Striegl hopes move to Singapore pivotal to One Championship title quest
Rosalinda L. Orosa (The Philippine Star) - March 24, 2015 - 6:06pm

When Manny Pacquiao started training at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles, he had already won a couple of world title wins and had a burgeoning reputation in the Philippines. But it wasn’t until he got together with Freddie Roach that the boxer began to establish himself as one of the all time greats.

There are clear parallels between the journey which would take Pacquiao to the pinnacle of his sport and the one which highly rated mixed martial artist Mark Striegl has just embarked on because both took a brave decision to leave the Philippines behind on order to take their careers to the next level.

Striegl has been based in Baguio since the very start of his MMA career but earlier this year, the One Championship bantamweight decided to relocate to Singapore in order to train with some of the most renowned coaches and fighters in the sport.

Striegl, who will be facing Casey Suire in the co main event of One: “Valor of Champions” next month, is now a member of the world renowned Evolve MMA fight team and he says the decision to leave the Philippines behind was not one he took lightly.

“The Philippines is my home but there is nowhere in the Philippines like Evolve MMA. All the trainers are the best at what they do and I have access to world class wrestling, Muay Thai, Jiu Jitsu, boxing and MMA all under one roof,” he said

When Pacquiao first began training with Roach at the Wild Card Gym, he was already established as the best Filipino in the division and, with a 13-1 overall record that includes wins over some highly ranked opponents, Striegl enjoys a similar status in his sport.

The challenge for Striegl is to win his first title in MMA and he hopes relocating to Singapore will give him the impetus to do that.

“I will still be fighting in Manila regularly I hope but I think you will see a big difference in my performances now that I have joined the fight team at Evolve MMA and am training with some of the best mixed martial artists in the world,” he added.

On April 24, Streigl will be facing a fighter who is undefeated and already has two first round stoppage wins for Asia’s biggest MMA promotion. It will be a big test for the Filipino, who has never competed in a venue the size of the 20,000 capacity SM Mall of Asia Arena before.

“I went to the last ONE Championship show there and the atmosphere was incredible. I can’t wait to fight at the MOA Arena for the first time in front of the biggest audience of my entire career,” Striegl said.

The following weekend, Pacquiao will be in the biggest fight of his life when he takes on Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas, and Striegl is looking forward to watching this fight in the Philippines.

“I plan to stay for a few weeks after my ONE Championship fight and I will be watching Manny take on Floyd along with everyone else in the Philippines,” he continued.

Whereas Pacquiao is known for his right hook, Striegl has a reputation for being a submission specialist with 11 of his 13 wins coming courtesy of this method. He hasn’t been the distance in nearly four years and promises ONE Championship fans more of the same on April 24.

“I will definitely be looking for a knockout or a submission and my opponent doesn’t go to many decisions either so don’t take your eyes of this fight. I’ve been training really hard at Evolve MMA in Singapore and I can’t wait to show the fans in Manila how much I have improved.”

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