UFC Hamburg: Marc 'Bonecrusher' Diakiese out to avenge his losses in Hamburg

Is Marc Diakiese the next best british fighter since Michael Bisping? Fans of British MMA fighters who may be mourning the loss of Michael Bisping to the ravages of Father Time rejoice; the UK has another attention-grabbing talent just waiting to break through, Marc Diakiese.
22 July 2018
by:   Mateusz Fenrych

Dispite having two loses Diakiese has the chance to redeem the last two results against Germany’s Nasrat Haqparast at UFC Hamburg this weekend, making it an excellent opportunity to examine the profile of perhaps the UK’s most compelling talent.

Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and living in Doncaster, he now fights out of an American MMA super-gym ATT (American Top Team), where he trains alongside such names as Polish ex-champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk and current welterweight interim champ and American noise-maker, Colby Covington.

Diakiese stands out most perhaps not because of his prodigious in-cage talent, but because of how he carries himself outside of it. In the cage, his appeal is obvious. He has a bouncy, rangey style backed up by ridiculous speed and rhythm changes, and a personal preference for flashy techniques.

It’s possible that the tendency for flashiness contributed to both of his defeats, but to assume that opinion would be to ignore the very obvious improvements Diakiese has made in the last year. From a grinding wrestler in his time with BAMMA to a flashy kicker in the UFC – his repertoire of kicks against Teemu Packalen in a thirty second fight is worth seeking out – has been succeeded by an evident attempt to meld his wrestling with an improving boxing game; hopefully his last two fights will leave the right impression on an evidently mature young man despite the two defeats.

But Diakiese has made waves outside of the cage too. Before his fight with the Finn Packalen in 2017, he became the first MMA athlete to pose on the cover of Gay Times, a welcome yet surprising move from a representative of what remains a trenchantly old-school sporting discipline.

“I like the idea that we are all one”, Diakiese told the GT during the shoot; “There's a lot of people who are single-minded. We're all the same, really, and as long as I get on with you and you get on with me, I'm fine. There's no difference.” When asked by a Sun journalist whether he worried about what people around him might think of the move, Diakiese replied, “I don’t really care what anybody says about me. They don’t pay my house bills. It’s about me.

"I was judged. People tried bullying me when they didn’t know what I had been through. I think, ‘Why would you judge somebody when it’s got nothing to do with you?’” With such an appealing blend of reasonable thinking, flashy fighting style, and the sheer joy he exhibits when he fights – he can often be observed with a huge grin on his face mid-fight – there’s no reason not to keep an eye on Marc Diakiese’s progress going forward, starting this Sunday, 22nd July at UFC Fight Night: Hamburg.


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