FIL-AMERICAN Mark Striegl is one of the most admired mixed martial arts fighters in Asia today, not just for his well-chiseled body, built around a layer of rock-hard abs and the looks of a Greek god, but because of his Spartan-like attitude.
Sparta was a warrior society in Ancient Greece. Its soldiers were known for their bravery, discipline, dedication and loyalty.
And like the Spartans, for Striegl, giving up is not an option.
His flourishing career halted by a disappointing loss, Striegl was inactive from the competitive MMA scene for nearly a year. But he did not stop from training. He kept himself fit, he watched his diet as he religiously does before a competitive fight on the cage.
He never turned idle as he hopped back and forth from Manila to Baguio for training.
“It‘s been one year since my last fight, but I haven’t been taking it easy, I still train every day and been waiting for my come back,” he said.
Then came a call from ONE Championship, the biggest MMA promotion in Asia.
He would be up against top Bulgarian prospect Sotir Kichukov in a catch weight contest. The opportunity to again show his mettle was exciting for Striegl.
For Mark, the battle was not on the night of the fight. His battle had already begun the moment he got that call.
Because like the Spartans, Striegl trains harder than anyone else.
Mark always makes sure that his body is up to the challenge. He strictly watches his diet and he doesn’t rely on anybody but himself.
“I prepare my own food. I bring my food anywhere I go. I see to it that I only eat the right food and the right weight,” said Mark.
He trains with the best people in Baguio and Manila, including long-time buddy Brandon Vera, the ONE heavyweight champion.
Like the Spartans, Striegl will fight anybody, anytime and anywhere.
Fight night came in December at ONE: Age of Domination at the Mall of Asia, Striegl persevered through three grueling rounds against Bulgaria’s Sotir Kichukov to win by unanimous decision.
There was not a trace of a year-long rust as Mark began the match aggressively, using superior speed and angles to stifle Kichukov, who appeared unable to time Mark’s efficient rhythm.
In the end, all three judges saw the bout the same way, with Striegl emerging as the victor.
Through it all, there’s one constant training partner that Striegl would always rely on—his Under Armour gear.
“They are awesome. Super durable, great compression gears. You can feel the effect immediately. They are perfect fit for me and I’m very happy with them,” said Striegl, who admitted though that he has been a believer of the brand even before he signed as a brand ambassador nearly a year ago.
A devoted athlete like Striegl, who trains two to three times a day, could definitely tell the difference between Under Armour and other brands.
“In, MMA, training is pretty intense, there’s a lot of wear and tear. My running shoes, my compression gear of different brand will wear and tear overtime. Like I said, Under Armour is super durable and lasts longer and yeah, it’s perfect for my training,” he said.
With a great training partner in Under Armour, Striegl is confident of getting back on track toward his goal—winning the ONE world championship.
“That’s my goal, I want that to win a title for the Philippines. I want that strap,” he vowed.
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