Mixed martial artists are no strangers to uncertainty, but the
coronavirus pandemic posed a different kind of adversity,
especially in its first few months.

Professional fighters are often given adequate time to prepare, but
this was a fight no one could have foreseen. Mark
tried to remain optimistic through it all as a family
man and
Ultimate Fighting Championship
featherweight. “We just have to
move forward,” he said. Initially, he was thankful to be with his
family when global travel was interrupted at an unprecedented
level, but the realities of his situation soon kicked in. The
Filipino-American had to deal with less-than-ideal training
regimens. Coincidentally, it was during this time that Striegl was
signed by the UFC.

He discussed his struggles and his response to them in an exclusive
interview with

Winning Mentality

Prior to his stint in the UFC, Striegl enjoyed a title reign in the
Universal Reality Combat Championship organization and had just
struck gold as a sambo practitioner in the Southeast Asian Games.
However, as soon as COVID-19 became a reality, whatever momentum he
was riding vanished. It became a time to reflect and evolve for the
Japan-born Striegl. With more time on his hands, he decided to
immerse himself in the world of crypto, using the downtime to
educate himself with all the materials he could find. Recently,
Striegl signed with Crypto Fight Club—a cryptocurrency platform
with a play-to-earn game powered by its own native token. CFC feels
like a throwback to turn-based strategy games of the 1990s, with a
simple storyline: Acquire fighters, kit them and prepare to scrap.
However, unlike other play-to-earn games, it has a more level
playing field.

Innovative Platform

Billed as the “ultimate play-to-earn gaming platform,” Crypto Fight
Club affords users the opportunity to triumph no matter the amount
of their investment. It brings the power back to the players’
hands, making their foray into crypto as sensible and as
adventure-filled as possible. As with his UFC contract, Striegl
views his partnership with Crypto Fight Club as a blessing. “We
started talking about their fight token, what their app is about,
and from there, we discussed what I can do as an ambassador to
spread the word and show what’s up,” Striegl said. He engaged in
his first Twitter AMA (ask me anything) session with the Crypto
Fight Club team in April. Other fighters on the CFC roster:
Superbon Banchamek and Dzhabar

Dual Goals

“Crypto and MMA are both exciting and fast-paced,” Striegl said.
Having partnered with an innovative team like Crypto Fight Club, he
believes he has put himself in a good place and vows to never stop
learning, alluding to a familiar mentality prevalent in MMA. Like
cryptocurrency advocate, Striegl sees crypto as the future. It
remains in its early stages, but some believe we could be looking
at the most revolutionary technology of our time. Striegl
appreciates how Crypto Fight Club supports fighters while
highlighting MMA and other combat sports. To that end, he wants to
continue to represent the Philippines in MMA and sambo. “I’ve got
to get that first win in the UFC,” Striegl said. “As far as sambo
goes, I want to win the Asian Indoor Martial Arts Games next year
and more SEA Games titles.”

Eager to Make a Mark

After back-to-back losses to start his UFC run, Striegl understands
the precarious position in which he left himself. The Baguio City,
Philippines, export was stopped by Said
at UFC Fight Night 180 and Chas Skelly
at UFC Fight Night 201. “Hopefully, I get the call soon so I can
show the UFC and the fans that I do belong at this level,” Striegl
said. “That’s my focus right now.” He was released by the promotion
on May 4 with two fights remaining on his contract. However, he has
a track record of resolve to which he can point. After bowing to
under the One
banner in 2105, Striegl rattled off four straight
victories and punched his ticket to the UFC.