There are always times in any sport that you watch, where you hit a certain age, and everyone you watched, and the reasons you got into a specific sport, start to retire. Causing you to look for new favorite’s.
Yes with the likes of Anderson Silva still fighting, and the returning GSP, and pretty much every card from Bellator, featuring fighters from days gone past, allows myself and others my age to relive the early days of our MMA love affair. But there is always that nagging feeling, that they aren’t quite what they used to be.
Which is why, as any sport grows, the prospects that will excite us grows along with it. New fighters stand out, and just seem to have that special something. That little bit extra to get you excited every time they appear on a card.
Someone that will get you excited, just like the same time you watched Lyoto Machida fight. So each month I will be looking at the next big thing in MMA.
This month’s choice was easy, especially after his performance on the recent UFC London card, and that is none other than Marc Diakiese.
The Bonecrusher is one of the few people that fights under the UFC banner that still has an undefeated professional record, having won his first three UFC fights in impressive form.
But it isn’t just in the UFC, Diakiese dominated in BAMMA as well, beating some of the UK’s best on his way to earning a UFC contract.
Still quite young at 24, Diakiese will have a huge future ahead of him, and his last few fights for BAMMA just proved why he should be in front of a wider MMA fan base. Having taken Jack McGann the distance, he would then follow us with very quick KO wins over Rick Selvarajah and Kane Mousah.
These three fights for me highlight just how good he is, these fights weren’t against any old fighters just to get the Doncaster native on a card, the three fighters will no doubt be on either the UFC’s or Bellators books in years to come. They were for fans of British MMA, dream match-ups, especially the Kane Mousah fight last May at BAMMA 25, with all the bad blood that surrounded the fight.
But in his last two fights for BAMMA, Marc showed just why he was called the ‘Bonecrusher’. With both fights only lasting a minute COMBINED!! Yeas you read that right, Diakiese dispatched of Selvarajah within 24 seconds, which incidentally is Diakiese’s fasted win to date, and then floored Mousah with an impressive left inside of 36 seconds.
Having dispatched of some of not only the UK’s best, but within a shout of being Europe’s best, in quick fashion, in was no surprise that Dana came calling.
So the pressure of taking that step up to the UFC would certainly phase a lot of people, but not Diakiese. His first fight was on the same card as Bisping vs Hendo 2 in Manchester. His fight with Lukasz Sajewski almost went a full two rounds, but true to form the Bonecrusher rose again, and got another TKO victory.
Another victory over Frankie Perez followed, a fight that went the distance, but it will be his victory over Temmu Packalen at UFC London, that will no doubt get people to stand up and take notice.
Not only was it one of his fastest victories, at only 30 Seconds, but we got to see the diversity of his offence, with a perfect tornado kick, that rocked Packalen, but it was an overhand right which knocked his latest victim out cold. Not only did it put Diakiese on the map for the wider MMA audience, but earned him an extra $50k in his pay packet.
But it’s not only his bravado inside of the cage, it’s attitude outside aswell, Diakiese knows how good he is, and backs it up with his words, putting the UFC lightweight division on notice. It’s not often you hear someone talk the talk, and then walk the walk, a trait probably not seen since a certain ‘Notorious’ Irishman made his UFC bow.
That talking seems to have also led to a twitter fued with Paul Felder, another fight which could live up to the same hype as Diakiese vs Mousah, but not only getting the British MMA fan invested in the fight, but also fight fans across the world.
So if like me, all the fighters that got you into the sport have started disappearing, or come back to try and relive their prime, and to be honest some can, but if you are need of another, new and exciting fighter to watch, then in my humble opinion Marc ‘the Bonecrusher’ Diakiese should be at the top of that list.