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Mark Striegl

Mark Striegl talks fighting Chas Skelly in Skelly retirement bout

Mark Striegl tests skills with Chas Skelly at UFC Fight Night: Walker vs Hill. This goes down on February 19th and emanates from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.

I spoke with Striegl prior to this prizefight and excerpts from our chat are below.


His present training camp location

“For this camp, I’ll be training at The MMA Lab.”

“Actually I just linked up with them for this camp. So I’ll be doing my first training session with them later today. Right after this interview, actually.”

The primary reasons for Mark Striegl wanting to train over at The MMA Lab

“Well, my coach from the Philippines, George Castro. He actually is from Arizona, from Phoenix originally. So when he moved back here during the pandemic, we always talked about me following. Doing some camps out here. So it just finally all came together.”

Mark Striegl

Getting in past work in Baguio City where Manny Pacquiao used to train

“Well, I live actually in Baguio City. Which is where, like you said, where Manny Pacquiao used to do some of his training camps. And as you mentioned, the elevation in Baguio is quite high. It’s I think seven or eight thousand feet above sea level at the highest point. But I think around five or six thousand normally. But yeah, it’s quite high above sea level.”

“So the high altitude training is good for strength and conditioning. Good for your lungs, good for cardio, and endurance. My family actually is over there but for training and for work, I split my time between Baguio and Manila. And Manila is the capital city, it’s about a four-hour drive from Baguio to Manila.”

Getting to meet Manny Pacquiao at one point and giving him signed ONE Championship gloves

“Yeah, that was cool. I got to visit him at the House of Senate actually. So that was cool to see him with his Senator duties.”

UFC Fight Night: Walker vs Hill

Thoughts on fighting Chas Kelly and the dynamic with this being Skelly’s retirement fight

“I just focus on myself and what I have to do to get the W. But you know, yeah, I did hear that. That this is going to be his last UFC fight. So I’m expecting him to come ready and definitely try to get the win. Because he’s gonna want to go out on a win of course. So I got to be ready for the best version.”

Still wanting a Sambo Gold Medal while concurrently competing in the UFC

“No, no, definitely both. If my schedule with the UFC allows me to, I would like to compete next in the AIMAG games. Which is the Asian Indoor Martial Arts Championships, which is quite a big tournament. Quite a big competition with a ton of martial arts for all of Asia. Wrestling, Sambo, Judo, a ton of different sports. So I’d like to compete in that later this year if my schedule will allow me to. I’d like to compete and like to keep representing the Philippines for Sambo.”

Mark Striegl vs Chas Skelly

Sambo being the most multifaceted base discipline for MMA and if Striegl agrees with that characterization

“Yeah, definitely. I mean, you have two types of sambo. You have combat sambo which is very close to MMA. But more based on a point system because it is sport version. Not that MMA is not sport, but Sambo is more geared towards Olympic sport, I guess.”

“So you do have a point system. So Combat Sambo is closer to MMA, and then you have sport Sambo. Which has no strikes and you can look at sports Sambo as kind of the ultimate grappling art. Because sports Sambo is a combination of Wrestling, Judo, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. So yeah, definitely. Whether it’s combat Sambo or sports Sambo, they’re both great bases for MMA.”

If the beard of Mark Striegel will come back for this next one

“Yeah, I don’t know. I’m on the fence with the beard. I actually had a photoshoot in the Philippines quite recently. And that was one of the reasons why I had to grow it out. Because that was one of the requests from the company I was working with to grow out my beard. And I grew it out just in time because they gave me three weeks’ notice before the shoot and I just shaved that morning.”

“So three weeks thankfully, it was long enough. But yeah, right after the shoot I actually shaved. Now it’s starting to grow again. Yeah, I don’t know. We’ll have to see. Maybe I’ll just surprise you guys.”

Parting thoughts for Mark Striegl

“Yeah, thank you. Thank you to everyone for tuning in. And appreciate all the support. And yeah, you can check me out on social media Mark Mugen for more training updates and whatnot. So thanks, guys. Stay safe everyone. God bless.”

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