Despite encountering two setbacks in his last fights under the UFC banner, British lightweight Marc Diakiese is raring to go ahead of his fight with Nasrat Haqparast at UFC Hamburg.
In his last two outings, Diakiese lost a tight split decision to Drakkar Klose, before submitting to the surging Dan Hooker’s guillotine choke at UFC 219.
Suffering the first loss of your career can prove a testing time for a young fighter such as Diakiese, let alone lose the next, but the Doncaster-raised fighter is taking that experience in his stride.
In fact, he believes tasting defeat will give him the edge against Haqparast.
“I didn’t feel like my last fight was a loss. I had to laugh at it. Since then I’ve been finetuning my technique and working on small parts of my game. I’ve got plenty of experience now. My next opponent hasn’t got that, he’ll be going in to impress and I just have to use my experience against him.
“Most of his previous fights have been hand-picked. I’m not an easy fight for him. I feel my experience is going to play a big part in this. I made my debut in Manchester, which was close to a hometown fight, so I know how to deal with that kind of pressure.”
At just 25, Diakiese will be taking on a 22-year-old Haqparast in July in a clash between two of the most promising lightweight talents to be forged in Europe.
In Haqparast, Diakiese sees some similarities in the younger, less UFC battle-tested Afghan-born German. However, he is relishing the prospect of upsetting Haqparast’s hometown fans in Hamburg.
“I’m always focused on my training but I do enjoy the trash-talking because it shows I’m getting under his skin. It’s going to be fun fighting him in Germany, being the bad guy – but I’ve got plenty of fans in Germany as well.
“In my debut I was rushing in and he’s going to do the same, looking to impress people. I’m too well-rounded for him now. I’m not sure how it will happen but I’m going to get the finish in the fight.
“You always learn from every fight you lose. I’ve got that experience behind me now and I’m confident and ready to get back into the win column.
“I still believe I can get to the very top of the UFC. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t.”
Marc Diakiese will be taking on Nasrat Haqparast at UFC Fight Night: Volkan vs. Shogun in Hamburg’s Barclaycard Arena on July 22nd.
Tickets for UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: VOLKAN VS. SHOGUN are on sale now via Eventim (eventim.de/UFC)
Announced fight card so far:
Volkan Oezdemir vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua
Marcin Tybura vs. Stefan Struve
Nasrat Haqparast vs. Marc Diakiese
Jeremy Kimball vs. Darko Stosic
Glover Teixeira vs. Ilir Latifi
Justin Ledet v. Aleksandar Rakic