By Michael Angelo S. Murillo, Senior Reporter

PARLAYING his wares as a combat sports athlete for more than a decade now, Mark “Mugen” Striegl said he is not about done and continues to look for the next mountain to climb.

Speaking at a recent episode of Lucis Channel’s web show, Mr. Striegl, 31, shared that combat sports have been generally good to him all these years and that he is happy with the way things have panned out for him in them.

But he was quick to say his journey is still ongoing and that he is not yet satisfied, looking to continue to challenge himself.

“I’m happy with the way my career has turned out but I cannot be satisfied. As an athlete, when you get satisfied that is when the end is near. You cannot be satisfied, especially as a professional fighter. I’m always looking for the next mountain to climb,” said Mr. Striegl, the reigning Universal Reality Combat Championship (URCC) featherweight champion.

Among those he still wants to accomplish is the chance to step in the famous Octagon of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

“I want to get a shot at the UFC, one of the premier organizations in the world. That’s my goal,” he said.

Started doing mixed martial arts as a professional in 2009, Mr. Striegl (18-2) has been part of a lot of organizations, including ONE Championship and Pacific Xtreme Combat, apart from the URCC.

Growth continues for him as well as a fighter, he said, developing his game to be ready no matter the challenge ahead.

Most recently, Mr. Striegl competed for the Philippines in the martial art of sambo and won gold in the Southeast Asian Games in 2019.

He said it was a great experience for him competing for the country and that the success they had in sambo as a team speaks volume of the potential of Filipinos to excel in it.

“It was a great experience. I have been competing in MMA and representing the Philippines but the SEA Games was something and I believe sambo will be great for Filipinos to take and something we can succeed in,” said Mr. Striegl.

The Philippine sambo team won six medals in the SEA Games last year here, including two gold hardware.

Mr. Striegl, however, lamented how the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) put the momentum that they, and Philippine sports in general, have built to a halt.

But he remains optimistic that eventually things would get back to their proper places and they get to resume what they are doing.

Having the kind of success he has had in combat sports, Mr. Striegl said he is keen on suggesting to one to take fighting as a career only if one’s passion lies in it.

“As far as being a career, I would say it is a great sport, tough sport. I would only advise it to people if they are truly passionate about it. You really have to be into it otherwise you cannot be successful in it. If you’re thinking of making it just a hobby it’s great, but if you want to make it a career, you really have to be obsessed about it to make a run at it,” Mr. Striegl said.