UFC London: Head Clashes Continue, Allowing Joel Álvarez to Submit Marc Diakiese

Marc Diakiese and Joel Alvarez, UFC London
Marc Diakiese and Joel Alvarez, UFC London ceremonial weigh-in, July 2023 Credit: Jamie Theodosi/Cageside Press

English-based fighter Marc Diakiese took his thirteen UFC fights into the cage with Spaniard Joel Alvarez in a European battle on the prelim portion of UFC London.

Joel Alvarez entered the rankings briefly in 2021 after beating Thiago Moises. However just one fight later a monstrous cut inflicted by Arman Tsarukyan flung him into the unranked masses again. He looked to build back towards the top fifteen against Marc Diakiese on Diakiese’s home turf. Marc lost his last fight to veteran Michael Johnson, so one of these talented fighters had to leave the octagon on a two-fight losing streak while the other would be back in contention for a ranked opponent soon.

The first round began with Diakiese targeting the long legs of Alvarez. Joel came back with a knee and a strong leg kick of his own. A lead hook from Alvarez caught Marc off balance in the early going and made him stumble but he did not appear hurt. Diakiese attempted some of his signature spinning attacks after that and landed a backfist. Alvarez was doing well by striking in combination and punctuating every one with a leg kick. Diakiese was more one and done with his strikes but he landed some good ones including an overhand right two minutes in. The length of Alvarez gave him a constant physical advantage though; his jab and lead hook consistently interrupted Diakiese. However Alvarez overswung on his combinations at times and his head fell far forward of his stance, putting him off-balance. Diakiese spun with just under a minute left; Alvarez timed it and got the rear body-lock, then one hook in, then dragged Diakiese to the mat. However Marc was able to reverse the position and end up in top position right before the buzzer ended the round.

Diakiese began the second round with a missing wheel kick and then a successful takedown into the dangerous full guard of Alvarez. Alvarez looked to throw up submissions but his head was pressed into the fence, making it hard. He still worked to invert on the legs but Diakiese stayed heavy on top. Alvaerz had trouble creating angles to do anything off of his back, but Diakiese could not do much from the top either.

With two minutes left Alvarez gave up on the submissions and wall-walked to his feet. Diakiese tripped the Spaniard’s legs out though and took him down, but then Alvarez sprung to his feet, got a front headlock when Diakiese shot for a takedown again, and got on top when Diakiese rolled to his back. Marc sprung to his feet after eating a few shots. Diakiese protested an accidental head clash but the referee did not stop it and Joel swarmed him against the fence. Marc went for a takedown to survive but ended up in the dangerous front headlock of Alvarez. Alvarez locked up a d’Arce choke and Diakiese turned the wrong way when trying to escape. The choke was tightened and Marc was forced to tap.

After the bout ended the review official, Jason Herzog, and others apparently discussed whether or not they would review the fight. However nothing came to fruition and Joel Alvarez got his hand raised by referee Dan Movahedi.

Official Result: Joel Alvarez def. Marc Diakiese by Submission (d’arce choke), Round 2, 4:26