Mark Striegl and Other Pinoy Fighters Shine in ONE Championship’s Manila Event
ONE Championship, Asia’s largest mixed martial arts promotion, held Valor of Champions last night at the SM Mall of Asia Arena. Competing in the co-main event of the evening was Mark “Mugen” Striegl.
For those unfamiliar, Striegl is a Filipino-American fighter who for the most part of his career resided and trained in Baguio City. Recently moving his training to Evolve MMA in Singapore, the 13-1 fighter wanted to leave a lasting impression as he debuted in ONE and fights for the first time on Philippine soil since his championship loss to Jang Yong Kim in PXC. And MAN, did he deliver!
Fighting opposite undefeated American Casey Suire, Striegl easily took Suire down with a side headlock, landing in side mount, kesa-gatame position reminiscent of the control he used on Harris Sarmiento – a marquee fight in Mark’s career. There, Mark worked to secure his signature “Fil-Americana” scarf hold lock, contorting Suire’s left arm enough to make him grimace. Mark then moved to take his opponent’s back as Casey gave a slight opening to alleviate the pressure on his arm. It was just a matter of time before Striegl sank in a rear naked choke, handing the American his first defeat via tap out.
Another Filipino that made a mark – no pun intended – was Muay Thai specialist Eugene Toquero. Also known as Richard Gutierrez’s trainer, Eugene is famous for his humor and masa appeal, drawing huge cheers from the crowd as he walked in to Katy Perry’s “Roar”! Entering the cage against Brianata Rosadhi, Toquero was all business as he converted a Rosadhi takedown attempt into a reversal to top mount. Toquero mixed his submission attempts with devastating elbows to Rosadhi’s face, his opponent grimacing like a badly bullied seven year old. Dishing out a royal beating with his signature elbows, Eugene earns for himself a first round TKO via referee stoppage and more importantly his most dominant showing in ONE Championship to date.
Other Filipinos shone as Geje Eustaquio lost a razor-thin split decision to Anatpong Bunrad in a back-and-forth three round war, while Edward Kelly outclassed fellow Filipino Jimmy Yabo with a rear naked choke in the first frame.
The only significant bump of the night was the main event between Ben Askren and Luis Santos. Starting strong with brutalizing kicks and judo throws against a wrestling Olympian in Askren, Luis Santos could not continue after being on the receiving end of an accidental thumb in the eye. The bout was ruled a no contest, incurring the ire of the audibly disappointed crowd. I guess the rematch will have to happen soon as these two were still hot on the heels of each other after the decision was announced.
Official Results for ONE: VALOR OF CHAMPIONS
ONE Welterweight World Championship bout: Ben Askren vs Luis Santos (No Contest)
Bantamweight bout: Mark Striegl defeats Casey Suire by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 3:48 of Round 1
Catchweight bout (57.1kg): Anatpong Bunrad defeats Geje Eustaquio by Split Decision
Flyweight bout: Eugene Toquero defeats Brianata Rosadhi by TKO (Strikes) at 3:41 of Round 1
Featherweight bout: Edward Kelly defeats Jimmy Yabo by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 4:05 of Round 1
Catchweight bout (68kg): Amir Khan defeats Bashir Ahmad by TKO (Doctor Stoppage) at 3:20 of Round 2
Flyweight bout: Liu Xiao Yang defeats Nicholas Lee by Knockout at 1:59 of Round 1
Featherweight bout: Wang Ya Wei defeats Sunoto by TKO (Strikes) at 1:21 of Round 3