By Michael Angelo S. Murillo, Senior Reporter

LONG wanted to parade his combat sports skills at the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Filipino Mark “Mugen” Striegl could finally see his dream fulfilled as he is on the brink of getting a fight in the world-renowned promotion.

Currently in Las Vegas training with Syndicate MMA, Mr. Striegl, 32, is reportedly “just a phone call away” from securing a debut fight at the UFC, something that he is very excited about considering fighting in the promotion’s famed Octagon has always eluded him in more than a decade of parading his wares in mixed martial arts (MMA).  

“I was in Baguio and I got a call from my coach, George Castro. And Coach Castro told me that Ruby Sports Entertainment, a management company over here that I’m signed with and works with Coach Castro, had told him that if I can get to Las Vegas from the Philippines that there will be a very high chance that I get a UFC fight, especially during this COVID times,” said Mr. Striegl in Wednesday’s episode of Tiebreaker Vods’ The Hit List podcast.

“We are currently in talks and we should get [a fight] soon,” added the reigning Universal Reality Combat Championship (URCC) featherweight champion.

Varying reports, however, have already linked Mr. Striegl taking on Timur Valiev of Russia in a bantamweight clash at UFC Fight Night on Aug. 22 at the UFC APEX facility in Las Vegas..

Finally at the doorstep of what he considers as the “Super Bowl of MMA,” Mr. Striegl, who also fought in organizations like ONE Championship and Pacific Xtreme Combat apart from the URCC, said to be a position where is now is just a blessing and that he intends to make full use of it. .

“I’m just taking advantage of the opportunity. You have to keep trying if this is your passion. I fought everywhere but the UFC is the promotion that has eluded me in my career. And now I’m trying to make this happen,” he said.

Mr. Striegl (18-2) had his last MMA fight in April last year at the URCC against Japanese Shunichi Shimizu which was ruled as a no-contest (low blow), leaving the Filipino fighter to retain his title.

In last year’s Southeast Asian Games, Mr. Striegl competed for the Philippines in the martial art of sambo and won gold.

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 the sport.

Meanwhile on Sunday, Aug. 16, the third fight in the trilogy between heavyweights Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier will happen in Las Vegas.

The fight will act as a decider after the two fighters split their previous two fights.

Mr. Miocic (19-3) took back the heavyweight title from Mr. Cormier (22-2) in August last year by technical knockout (punches) in the fourth round.

Also seeing action at UFC 252 are bantamweights Sean O’Malley and Marlon Vera; heavyweight Junior dos Santos against Jairzinho Rozenstruik; and bantamweight John Dodson versus Merab Dvalishvili.

UFC 252: Miocic vs. Cormier 3 will be broadcast locally over FOX Sports. FOX Sports is on Channel 263 on Cignal TV.