Mark Striegl

Mark Striegl discusses his UFC debut against Said Nurmagomedov

Mark Striegl takes on Said Nurmagomedov at UFC Fight Night: Ortega vs Zombie on Saturday, October 17th. The bantamweight bout kicks off the card and the broadcast goes on ESPN+. UFC Fight Island in Abu Dhabi will play host to the pugilistic proceedings. The URCC featherweight champion is readying to make his octagon debut and below are several excerpts from our conversation.

Syndicate MMA work

“Yeah, I’ve been training at Syndicate MMA. So I’ve been working with head coach John Wood. There are a ton of great fighters and awesome talent that are on the Syndicate MMA fight team. Also just passing through the gym on a regular basis. I mean Syndicate really is one of the top gyms here in Vegas and I’m blessed and fortunate to be able to work out here. Coming from the Philippines just to base myself here in Vegas at Syndicate MMA, I’m really happy.”

Prior work at Evolve MMA when Mark Striegl competed in ONE

“I spent a year in Singapore at Evolve MMA. Just getting to work with all the guys there and pick up different techniques and training philosophies. You know just mentalities. It’s been great, it’s been a wild and crazy MMA journey.”

Mark Striegl

His prior UFC debut effort being cancelled and having COVID-19

“Yeah, I’m just excited that it’s finally happening. I mean last time, that was a huge bummer, man. It was three days before the fight. I was at the fighter hotel, I was checked in, already well along in my weight cutting. Ready to do like my final cut. I was three days out from the fight. So it was two days out from the weigh-ins. So I was ready to do my final cut to make weight and I was thinking to myself like ‘am I feeling crappy from the weight cut?'”

“It turned out that it was COVID. It was something else. I did have all the symptoms, but I’m feeling much better now. Feeling 100% fully recovered. I can’t wait to make this happen.”

Meeting Forrest Griffin at the UFC PI

“That was super cool. Yeah, it’s funny I remember when I was in high school. That was when the Ultimate Fighter first came out. I remember watching Forrest and all these guys on TV. Watching them on the Ultimate Fighter season one. It’s funny, I was on the treadmill at the PI. I was just working out and all of a sudden this big guy with a mask on comes over and starts chatting me up. I’m like, he’s very friendly and we’re just chatting and I’m thinking like, ‘Hmm, this guy’s voice kind of sounds familiar, but I’m not sure.'”

“He’s got this giant like surgical mask on. It’s one of those big masks, you know. So I can only see his eyes, but his voice sounds familiar, and then it suddenly clicks in my brain I’m like, ‘Yo, I think that’s Forrest Griffin’. …So I finished my run. I’m just stretching and we’re still chatting. And I asked him I’m like ‘hey buddy, I’m a big fan. Can I get a picture?'”

“Either it’s going to be some random guy and it’s going to be pretty funny, or it’s going to be Forrest Griffin and I guessed correct. I did guess correct and it was Forrest. He took down his mask and I’m like ‘okay I knew it’ and then I got my picture and that was like my fanboy moment. It was pretty funny.”

Striegl vs Nurmagomedov

Mark Striegl being a sambo gold medalist and creating a compelling stylistic clash with Nurmagomedov

“Yeah, definitely. I feel that I match up well with Said. I think that it’s gonna make for an action-packed fight you know. We both have these explosive dynamic styles and it’s definitely just gonna make for a super exciting, explosive fight for the fans. Yeah, I’m super stoked.”

Tape study on Said

“Yeah, I mean I’m the kind of fighter that watches a little bit at the start but then beyond that, I kind of just let my coaches analyze the tape and do that for me. Because I think the most important thing is to focus on yourself and focus on what you’re going to do to your opponent. Focusing on your game plan and imposing your will come Fight Night.”

UFC Fight Night: Ortega vs Zombie

Being on Fight Island

“Yeah, I’ve never been to Abu Dhabi. I’ve never been to that part of the world actually, so I’m super excited. The first one was going to be at the APEX center against Timur and that didn’t happen of course because I got COVID. Now I get to go to Fight Island. So in a way, it’s kind of cooler actually. It was a bummer that I got COVID but now it’s like ‘oh wow, I get to go to fight Island. I get to go to Yas island which I’ve heard so much about and I get to go to Abu Dhabi for the first time’. Super exciting.”

Epic post-fight cheat meal options

“My friends, training partners, people that know me, they know that I’m all about food. I’m a huge foodie. I love food. I love cheese, I love pasta, I love pizza. It’s probably because I’ve been competing my whole life and I’m so used to cutting weight. Losing weight from wrestling when I was seven years old. So I guess it’s ingrained in my being to be hungry and dieting and be thinking about food. But yeah for after the fight, I definitely have my list.”

“Part of my process before every single fight is, I make a list of all the places that I want to eat at come post-fight. All the things that couldn’t eat and I restricted myself from. So I definitely have a lot of things on that list. I’ll be flying back from Abu Dhabi from Yas Island straight to Manila to the Philippines after. So most of the list is in the Philippines.”

“In Abu Dhabi, I’m not sure how much we’re allowed to leave the hotel and check out different areas because of COVID, of course. If we are able to wander a bit, I would definitely like to check out the food scene over there. I mean, that definitely excites me.”

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