MANILA -- US-based Filipino fighter Mark Striegl will remain part of the Philippines national sambo team despite competing in the UFC.
Striegl will make his UFC debut on October 17 against Said Nurmagomedov in Abu Dhabi.
"I'm still a national team member for combat sambo team," said Striegl in an interview on Noli Eala's Power and Play.
Striegl dominated Singapore's Ashvin Jaswant Singh in the combat sambo finals to clinch the gold in the recent Southeast Asian Games.
"That is something I'd like to continue to do. There are no competitions right now because of COVID-19, but definitely I plan to continue my representing the Philippines in the realm of sambo and the UFC," Striegl added.
Before signing up with the UFC, the 32-year-old fought in various promotions, including PXC and ONE Championship. He was the URCC featherweight champion.
Striegl was supposed to make his UFC debut in August in Las Vegas, but his bout was scrapped after he tested positive for COVID-19.
"It was a bummer, I viewed it as a small setback," he said.
Afterward, Striegl received news he was pencilled for a bout against Nurmagomedov, one of UFC's rising prospects, in UFC's Fight Island.
Striegl said the Philippines remains his home despite signing with the UFC.
"I will be flying back to the Philippines after this fight in Dubai. I'm really excited to see my family," he said.
"My family is in Baguio, my wife and kids are in Baguio. I do my training in Manila. I regularly shuttle between Manila and Baguio."
Striegl is appreciative of the opportunity to fight, especially during during these times when many fighters have been sidelined because of the pandemic.
"I'm just grateful for this opportunity to be honest to be able to compete in the pandemic era . . . I'm grateful to everybody back home and super excited," he said.