Marc Diakiese reached a turning point.
“Bonerusher” went from an undefeated fighter to a three-fight skid in just over a year. He was forced to look in the mirror and reevaluate what was holding him back from reaching his true potential.
Then it dawned on him that he needed those losses to mature and find himself.
“Before when I was fighting, I was fighting for people, and even though that’s something I love doing, I would listen to their reactions,” Diakiese told UFC.com. “I’m an emotional fighter and I hear what they say about me and I’d go with it and go out and try to do crazy stuff. But now it’s about me thinking and not going in going crazy. I feel more like a fighter rather than someone just trying to be special.”
Diakiese is quick to clarify his previous statement, noting that he is a special talent that was too focused on impressing critics during that losing streak rather than loving what he does.
And that’s exactly what the British fighter did in 2019. He refocused on himself and bounced back with wins over Joe Duffy and Lando Vannata. It was a good feeling for Diakiese, who, at 27 years old, holds a 5-3 record in the Octagon.
“I feel like I’m ready to take on the world. I truly do,” Diakiese said. “I feel like before I was just a flashy fighter that didn’t know himself but now, I do, and I do feel that I’m ready to take on top ranked fighters.”
The UFC’s lightweight division is one of the toughest, if not the toughest weight class in which to break into the upper echelon. But there is no doubt in Diakiese’s mind that he will get there by extending his win streak and getting those wins in impressive fashion.
“I’m in this sport to see what I’m capable of and just to be me,” Diakiese said. “In that Duffy fight I was just me and same with the Lando fight. If I’m just me I know I can be a guy that can crack the rankings and climb them.”
That climb to where Diakiese wants to be continues on July 18 when he faces Rafael Fiziev on the UFC Fight Island 2 card. Fiziev’s last UFC fight resulted in a victory over Alex White where the Tiger Muay Thai fighter displayed that he will be a worthy adversary for any opponent that likes to mix it up on the feet.
And that potential stand and bang type matchup excites Diakiese.
“I like his style and he likes to come forward to throw punches. At this point in my career I want challenges and I want guys that are going to be dangerous,” Diakiese said. “I want the type of fights that are going to make me think and bring out the best of me, and I believe that Fiziev will do that once the lights are on us.”
You’re not going to want to miss Diakiese take on Fiziev on the UFC Fight Island 2 main card which begins at 7pm ET/4pm PT on ESPN and ESPN+.
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