Marc Diakiese – Grinding for the Spectacular

Fightland Blog

By Peter Carroll

Photo by Dave Fogarty/BAMMA

A colleague of mine, Graeme McDonnell, recently spent time in the UK with newly signed UFC lightweight, Marc Diakiese. When he got home he was blown away by the 23-year-old’s work ethic as he launched into a multi-destination journey each day for training.

When I get talking to Diakiese at around lunchtime he has already travelled from his hometown of Doncaster to Sheffield, and then to Leeds—a four hour round trip for two training sessions.

“Living in Doncaster, I really don’t have the facilities that other people have on their doorsteps,” he explains. “There are no facilities here that everything under one roof. I go wherever I need to go to train in the various disciplines of mixed martial arts.

“My day varies, but sometimes I finish as late as 11 at night. For my Thai boxing I travel to Mansfield and just now I’ve finished up strength and conditioning in Leeds. This morning I was in Sheffield so that just shows you far I travel for training.

“I just like to training each part of the sport separately. I want to train Thai boxing with Thai boxers, boxing with boxers and wrestling with wrestlers. I want to get the best of what each martial art has to offer.”

Diakiese was signed on the back of two spectacular first round knockout wins over Rick Selvarajah and Kane Mousah. The two fights combined lasted a total of one minute.

Interestingly, his former opponent Jack McCann once heckled the lightweight as being a “boring” fighter.

The Liverpudlian knockout artist was soundly beaten over three rounds with ‘Bonecrusher’, and when asked if he would like to avenge the loss, the reason he gave for not wanting the rematch was critical of Diakiese’s style.

“I have previously stated that fighting Diakiese again is not something I am interested in,” he told the Liverpool Echo. “He wouldn’t fight before so why would he again.”

The work Diakiese puts in guarantees a constant evolution in the sport. Despite many believing that his knockout power is a new addition to his arsenal due to the three decisions that preceded his two recent stoppages, Diakiese insisted that he simply wasn’t making enough money to take the damage of trading big shots before the UFC.

“To me, back then when people used to call me boring, it meant nothing,” he says.

“I knew what I was working against. It’s not like I was getting 50k for knocking people out on the smaller promotions, so why would I put myself in a situation where I could take a lot of damage if I wasn’t getting anything for it?

“I made sure I won my fights and I knew I could always step my game up when I need to, and I have done that. Now everybody is going to see what ‘The Bonecrusher’ is all about.”

It’s a good thing that Diakiese has such confidence in his hands because his handiwork in his last two outings caused a viral surge after his knockout of Mousah in May.

National publications that usually wouldn’t keep an eye on the regional scene heralded the arrival of a new potential UFC title holder to following the footsteps of Michael Bisping.

Making his debut on the same card that will boast Bisping’s first title defense as UFC middleweight champion, Diekiese admits that he is feeling the pressure to deliver another emphatic knockout when he meets a man he sparred during his brief time at All Stars gym, Reza Madadi.

“I’ve been training boxing four, maybe five, times a week and I’m sparring high quality boxers,” he tells me. “When I throw the kind of shots that I have been in training, with my athleticism, they seem to land all the time. It’s not like I’ve gone in trying to force the knockout in my last two fights, it just happens.”

The lead up to his bout with Mousah has probably taught him a number of things about pre-fight promotion. The two fighters engaged in a well-publicized back and forth before their meeting in Birmingham last May and Diekiese’s performance proved true to his word that he was unaffected by the build-up.

If there is one thing everyone knows about Reza Madadi, it’s that he has flair for confrontational face offs with his opponents.

Fresh of his prison sentence for armed burglary, a crime he still claims he did not commit, Madadi was infuriated when Northern Ireland’s Norman Parke produced a pink bag on the scales before their clash in Dublin.

As far as Diekiese is concerned, it makes absolutely no difference what his opponents have to say before they fight.

“Whatever they say, whatever they do, it doesn’t bother me. At the end of the day we’re going to punching each other in the face on October 8 so it doesn’t really matter to me if they want to talk before hand.

“I’ll say whatever I feel like saying, he can say whatever he feels like saying, after we punch each others’ faces in we can shake hands after that.” 


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Everbody’s Talking About Marc Diakiese