One man’s misfortune is another man’s chance to impress. That’s the nature of Mixed Martial Arts. While injuries to Jon Tuck and Ale Cali may have scrapped two of the most anticipated fights in 2012, their replacements will feel little remorse at the huge opportunity that has landed on their laps.
Undefeated Mark Streigl is a fighter that is talked about with plenty of excitement, and the Pacific X-treme Combat (PXC) newcomer is arguably the one that has the most to gain after the fight card shuffle. The Filipino-American, who grew up in Japan, relocated to Baguio last year and now has the chance to make a huge impression on the Filipino fight fans.
PXC has a real knack for unearthing promising Filipino Mixed Martial Artists and turning them into stars. If Mark wins in style in the co-main event of PXC 33, he will be on the fast track to becoming another one to add to the list. It helps as well that he has put down some roots in the country, where he plans to hone his craft and showcase his talents among his countrymen.
“It’s great to train in Baguio. Some of the best Filipino camps are here. I love the Philippines. I don’t have any plans of leaving anytime soon,” Streigl said.
At present, there are already two homegrown fighters that have risen to the top of their weight classes. Davao native Ale Cali stopped Jesse Taitano back in February to earn the vacant flyweight title, while in July, Team Lakay’s Crisanto Pitpitunge knocked Justin Cruz out to take the bantamweight crown. It’s been a great year for MMA in the Philippines, to say the least, and while there are quite a few other Filipino fighters who are turning some heads, Streigl has the opportunity to jump straight to the top half of the featherweight division, where Guamanian Baby Joe Taimanglo reigns supreme.
With eight of his ten wins coming via submission, and only four of his fights going past the first round, Streigl has a reputation for putting on exciting contests. That, along with his well-spoken nature and charming looks makes him a very marketable figure for the PXC.
His value won’t be realized, however, if he fails to keep his record untainted on Saturday, when he faces Guamanian Robert Wusstig. Although holding a 4-5 record, Wusstig is on the comeback trail, winning his last two fights. He holds a victory over former PXC champion Justin Cruz, and is highly regarded in his hometown.
They say numbers don’t tell the whole story, and Streigl seems to agree, as he brushes aside his opponent’s unassuming record.
“I’m looking forward to fighting Robert. He’s a really tough fighter and always comes ready. I expect a war. I expect a really tough fight.”
Undoubtedly, the late fight card shuffle has brought about some disappointment to Filipino MMA fans, but it isn’t all doom and gloom. Lightweight champion Harris Sarmiento will still be in action in the main event, and if the fight prior to that all goes to plan, we might very well witness the arrival of a new Filipino fighter bound for greatness.
» Fil-American rising star Mark Striegl called out by two PXC 37 winners
» Michinori Tanaka snatches PXC bantamweight title from hometown fighter Crisanto Pitpitunge
» Crisanto Pitpitunge returns to PXC cage as proud member of police force