Marc Diakiese was once the next big thing, and coming into UFC London on a three-fight losing streak gives him a chance to rekindle his hype.
In 2017, Marc Diakiese entered the Octagon as a healthy favorite against Drakkar Klose. He was undefeated and had already earned a healthy reputation amongst the hardcore. After three rounds he walked out disappointed as Klose took home a split decision. Five months later, Diakiese was looking to bounce back from a disappointing loss when he took on Dan Hooker at UFC 219. The fight was expected to be a banger as the two are known finishers. The fight and the result both turned out to be exceptionally disappointing for Diakiese. The fight saw barely any action and the only exciting moment turned out to be when Hooker secured a rear-naked choke over Diakiese early in the third round.
Seven months later, after over 16 months since his last win, Diakiese got what looked like his last chance when he faced Nasrat Haqparast. Again, the result saw Diakiese losing.
Entering this weekend’s card, Diakiese is at a career low. Once dubbed as the next big thing, the former BAMMA champion is now facing an identity crisis in the world of MMA. So how does Diakiese turn that around? The answer is Joe Duffy. The Irishman himself enters the fight on a low note himself given his TKO loss to James Vick over a year ago. Prior to that, however, he was on an impressive two-fight win streak and with a record of 16-3, Duffy commands a lot of respect in the eyes of MMA fans.
Somehow, that same respect hasn’t transcended into support. The Irish are known for their crazy worship of their sporting figures in MMA. They are regarded as one of the best fandoms in the world and will go to any extent to support one of their own. That is something that Duffy hasn’t experienced yet, at least not in his fights in the UFC. But that doesn’t mean they don’t watch his fights or hype his fights up. They don’t cheer as hard as they do for others but still manage to create a supportive atmosphere.
When Diakiese enters the Octagon this weekend, many will be paying attention. An impressive performance here can result in MMA fans forgetting his skid and beginning his hype train again. This sounds easy on paper to be impressive, one must get a finish victory which goes wild on MMA social media, similar to Diakiese’s finish of Teemu Packalen.
Diakiese isn’t expected to win this match coming in as a +160 underdog. Him pulling off a win in an impressive manner is would be simply unexpected. That increases his chance of earning a lost fan base in a one go. Will he manage to do that is the question here.
UFC London will be live on ESPN+ in the USA, TSN5 in Canada on March 16. and SONY SIX in India on March 17.