ONE Championship's Casey Suire: “I refuse to live a boring, ordinary life”
When Casey Suire (5-0), of LaFayette, Louisiana moved to Jakarta, Indonesia nearly a decade ago, he was just an ordinary, hard-working American trying to get by. But when he was introduced to mixed martial arts by a friend in 2009, he became obsessed with the sport and what started out as an interesting workout became an intense, burning passion.
“I can remember watching my first MMA show and it was very exciting but thought you would have to be crazy to do that,” said Suire, as he recalled how he first discovered mixed martial arts.
Suire, a certified country boy, spent his childhood days growing up in sunny southern Louisiana but since being employed by a major Oil & Gas company, he was sent to Angola and Africa on assignment before finally settling in Indonesia. He’s been abroad for eight years now.
It was there that he discovered mixed martial arts.
“In 2009, I met an Australian kickboxer and out of curiosity started training with him in Balikpapan,” said Suire.
“He downloaded some Bas Rutten videos and we watched them to learn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. After three months, I had my first amateur MMA match at lightweight, and fought to a draw. I moved to Jakarta soon after (the amateur fight) and started training with fellow ONE fighter, Fransino Tirta. I went 5-0 in MMA competitions over that time.”
He now trains all across the country in the nation’s top gyms and has amassed an unblemished record with five solid victories, four by impressive submissions and one by technical knockout.
“There were not many MMA events in Indonesia, so I just kept competing in all the BJJ no-gi tournaments,” Suire explained his knack for grappling.
That’s not to say Suire is only about the mat skills.
“Took up boxing a few years ago and had my first pro-boxing match at Indosiar Studio after a month and a half of training. Lucky enough, I won by TKO in the third round and had one other match. I currently hold a 2-0 pro-boxing record,” Suire said, making aware his striking acumen.
Suire is set to take on highly-touted Filipino bantamweight prospect, Mark “Mugen” Striegl (13-1) on April 24 in Manila — in his third pro bout for ONE Championship, Asia’s largest mixed martial arts promotion. Striegl, who like Suire, also has a propensity for grappling in the cage, having notched 11 submissions out of 13 wins so far in his professional career. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise if both Suire and Striegl look to take this fight to the ground.
“Mark (Striegl) is a great wrestler and MMA fighter. He is 13-1, so all the qualities it takes to get to that point are fairly obvious. I have to bring my best to the cage when I face him if I want to be victorious,” said Suire.
If Suire can defeat Striegl, it will do wonders for his fledgeling MMA career. As it stands, Striegl, without a doubt presents his toughest challenge, one that he says he will be prepared for. Although he has lived abroad for eight years, six in Indonesia, Suire says he certainly misses home.
“I do miss my friends and family,” said Suire. “But Indonesia has been a good home away from home for me. The weather can be fantastic most of the time and I’m not a big fan of the cold. Best of all, (living in Indonesia) allowed me to start my martial arts career which I have become obsessed with.”
Suire has currently set up camp at Bali Muay Thai & MMA in Canggu, a gym that features a slew of world class fighters in its stable as well as top-of-the-line fitness facilities. He also tries to juggle training with a full-time office job at an Oil & Gas company in Indonesia.
“I do my best to make the most of every day,” said Suire. “I’m preparing (for this fight) just like any other fight with a workmanlike mentality.”
“I know Mark is a great wrestler, so I have been wrestling Sumatran tigers in the jungles of Sumatra to prepare for him…just kidding! But that’s probably not a bad idea,” Suire quipped. “I have been training with a bunch of great wrestlers and fighters, so I expect that to make a huge difference going into this fight.”
“I expect Mark to bring his aggressive style, and I look forward to testing my abilities against him. Should be a fun fight for fans to watch,” he added.
By records alone, Striegl is a slight favorite to win. Yet win or lose, Suire will continue to follow his passion for MMA.
“I haven’t spent that much time in the cage in my career with my aggressive style and it has worked out well thus far, so expect that to continue,” said Suire. “I am going to give everything I have in the cage, win or lose.”
Such warrior mentality is rare. A lot of fighters say they will leave it all in the ring but when push comes to shove, they back off. This is, after all, a very physical sport, one that has answers to questions only found inside the solace of a six-tonne, 2.8 meter-high steel cage. But perhaps more than other men of the same profession, Suire has all the answers.
“I refuse to live a boring, ordinary life just to arrive at death safely,” said Suire, drawing inspiration from his sister Dorie.
Dorie Suire figured in a tragic car crash that claimed her life. She was 17-years old.
“Everyone experiences loss in their lives and unfortunately, I lost my sister Dorie,” recalls Suire.
“She wasn’t able to live out her dreams. Her passing made me realize how short life is and it has driven me to make the most out of each opportunity presented to me.”
A wise man once said that ‘every soldier must know, before he goes into battle, how the little battle he is to fight fits into the larger picture, and how the success of his fighting will influence the battle as a whole’.
For Casey Suire, the little battles he’s fought throughout his life has helped him fight the bigger battles inside the cage. He’s now 2-0 with ONE Championship, going for his third straight victory for the promotion — and it will come against one of the best fighters in the division in Striegl. As such, fans can be sure that Suire is ready to get that hard-earned win.
“I will be looking to get the finish which the crowd should enjoy.”
ONE: VALOR OF CHAMPIONS hits Manila, Philippines on April 24 at the state-of-the-art Mall of Asia Arena where Casey Suire and Mark Streigl are set to lock horns in a three round bantamweight clash.