Unbeaten prospect Mark Striegl has joined Legend FC’s July 16 card. | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
A knee injury has forced South Korean Yeong Gwang Choi to withdraw from his opening-round bout in Legend Fighting Championship’s upcoming featherweight title tournament.
Choi’s original opponent, Pancrase standout Yusuke Kawanago, will instead meet unbeaten up-and-comer Mark Striegl when the four-man bracket commences July 16 at Legend 5. Officials from the Hong Kong-based promotion Sunday confirmed the switch to Sherdog.com.
Perfect through four professional outings, 22-year-old Striegl notched his third win via rear-naked choke Friday on Saipan, putting away the more experienced Giovanni Sablan three minutes into their Trench Warz 14 lightweight headliner. Striegl is of Filipino American descent and attended college in San Diego, but currently resides in Tokyo and trains at Wajutsu Keishukai Gods gym.
Kawanago, 28, has spent the last two years campaigning in the Pancrase ranks, compiling a record of 5-2-1, with a trio of highlight-reel knockout wins. However, the “Bancho” is winless in his last two starts, having fallen by submission to veteran Takumi Nakayama in April and drawn with Kensaku Nakamura on June 5.
The winner of the Kawanago-Striegl matchup will be in line to vie for the Legend featherweight title against the winner of another July 16 semifinal between China’s Chengjie Wu and Indonesia’s Fransino Tirta.
The nine-bout card for Legend 5 also received its final addition last week, as a welterweight contest between Wang Sai and Ken Hamamura was made official. A teammate of UFC prospect Tiequan Zhang, the Chinese sanda specialist Sai comes off a decision loss to Alex Niu in Legend 4’s “Fight of the Night.” Hamamura, an eight-year veteran of the Japanese circuit, has seen split verdicts in his last three bouts, topping Ye Won Nam and Jeong Gyo Park, but most recently losing to Tomokazu Yuasa.