UFC London's Marc Diakiese believes he's found the recipe to stop surprising slide
LONDON – Two years ago, Marc Diakiese was an undefeated prospect who had just notched a 30-second victory in the UFC octagon – so what happened from there?
Diakiese has since dropped three consecutive fights, marking the first three losses of his professional career. Despite the setbacks, “Bonecrusher” said his focus is now sharper than ever.
“It’s my job at the end of the day, and I love doing it,” Diakiese said. “You come to that moment, you lose a fight, but it’s how you come back. I’ve just been working on the mental side very hard, jut trying to come back, and that’s what I’m going to try to do.
“I still feel the passion for it. Now I know it’s not just about being tough. It’s about being smart in the cage, as well, and having a team around you, which I’m doing.”
Diakiese (12-3 MMA, 3-3 UFC) returns back to the scene of his greatest triumph for this Saturday’s UFC on ESPN+ 5, which takes place at The O2 in London and streams in its entirety on ESPN+. He faces Joe Duffy (16-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC) on the night’s prelim card.
For Diakiese, the matchup wasn’t the one he originally expected, but it’s one he admits has him excited.
“I was supposed to fight Stevie Ray, but I think he bitched out for some reason, and obviously Duffy was involved, so I took it.
“I’m just excited. I feel like it’s fired me up because I know what he brings to the table. I know he was supposed to be the last man to beat Conor McGregor. I’m just happy to really showcase what I’m capable of.”
Diakiese believes his resurgence will ultimately be fueled by a comfort that’s come from returning home to England not just for his fight but for his training, as well. Rather than travel to the U.S. for camp at American Top Team, Diakiese stayed in England to train at Leeds’ AVT MMA.
He believes the balance of staying close to family coupled with the individualized attention he’s receiving this time around will pay dividends.
“I don’t want to blame it on personal life or anything, but I just feel like it’s all in general, certain things I’ve needed changing, which I’ve done,” Diakiese said. “It’s more of just the environment I’m at. Professionally, I have family, like you said, I like to be around them. It’s just nice to feel like I go to the gym, and I leave and I go see my family after that. I’ve got free time to enjoy myself, as well.”
Despite the positive changes, Diakiese knows he’s still got his back against the wall in terms of his UFC career. But he’s now more accepting of his situation and believes that relief of pressure will lead to a better performance.
“I’ve come back to have fun, enjoy myself, instead of going out there and worrying about my job,” Diakiese said. “At the end of the day, I love what I do. It doesn’t matter if I get cut or not. At the end of the day, this is what I’m going to be doing.
“I just feel like here, I’m at home, and I’m going back to what I knew best, and I’m going to use that to win the fight.”
To hear more from Diakiese, check out the video above.