Filipino-American fighter Mark Striegl went on a rollercoaster ride en route to his much-awaited UFC debut.
Since recovering from COVID-19, everything has fallen into place for Striegl — at least for now.
Speaking to the T2 Fight Project podcast aired Friday, Striegl said he already underwent a 48-hour room quarantine and two COVID-19 tests, which came out with a negative result, while holed up at his hotel room in Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island.
“Everything’s running along smoothly,” said the Baguio native fighter, commending the UFC and Ruby Sports & Entertainment for a quick turnaround after his canceled fight.
This Saturday (Sunday, Manila Time), he will be facing Said Nurmagomedov, cousin of reigning UFC lightweight champion Khabib, in a three-round bantamweight clash and fans are up for an “explosive” and “action-packed fight.”
“He’s an explosive Russian fighter. I’m exposed to Filipino fighters. He’s from the mountains of Dagestan, I’m from the mountains of Baguio,” said Striegl, who rides on a four-match win streak, with his latest fight last April 2019 in URCC declared a no contest.
“I think I do match up very well with him. Just expect fireworks, man,” he added.
The 32-year-old Striegl, who holds a professional mixed martial arts record of 18-2, was supposed to fight Russian Timur Valev last August 22 in Las Vegas but the bout was scrapped on short notice after he tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
The 2019 Southeast Asian Games sambo gold medalist has been training with Las Vegas-based stable Syndicate MMA since late July under the helm of coach John Wood.
Meanwhile, the 28-year-old Nurmagomedov, who has a 13-2 slate, lost his recent match last December via unanimous decision against Raoni Barcelos that saw him snap a seven-match win streak.
The Striegl-Nurmagomedov bout will serve as undercard for the main event UFC Fight Night: Ortega vs. Korean Zombie.