British striker Marc Diakiese said he’s ready to put on a show for the fans in Columbus, Ohio when he returns to action at UFC on ESPN 33.
A run of three straight wins upon his arrival in the UFC was followed by three consecutive losses as “The Bonecrusher’s” early momentum hit the buffers in the UFC’s lightweight division.
A pair of wins over notable names Lando Vannata and Joe Duffy righted the ship, but defeats to Rafael Fiziev and Rafael Alves have once again put Diakiese at the .500 mark as he heads into Saturday’s event in Columbus, Ohio.
The suggestion that Diakiese is under pressure heading into the bout was quickly addressed by the Brit during his media day session, where he told reporters that he’s comfortable with his situation, because it’s a familiar position for him.
“I think I’ve been I’ve been in this situation before, with the Joe Duffy fight, and I’m not really thinking of it that way, because I feel like I’ve been there before,” he said.
“Now I have more experience – this is my 11th fight in the UFC – and I feel like I’m a better fighter coming into this fight. So it’s not about me being worried about having my back against the wall, it’s about me going out there and trying to impress the crowd, because that’s what I like to do, especially with this being my 11th fight in the UFC and there’s crowds back.
“I’ve not fought in front of a crowd for maybe three years now. And I’m just excited to go out there and put on a show for the crowd.”
Diakiese has always been a crowd-pleaser. His early career saw him develop from a strong, but unspectacular prospect to a bonafide knockout artist as he blasted through the domestic scene in the UK to earn his spot on the big stage.
Despite the need to claim victory to get UFC record back into the black, Diakiese’s desire to wow the crowds remains a strong part of his fighting mindset.
“I love crowds. When I do something crazy, and I hear them scream, “whaaaaa!” I love that,” he grinned.
“So just having them back gets me excited. So I’m really looking to put on show instead of me thinking of going, ‘Oh, my back’s against the wall,’ you know?
“I put on exciting fights, I’m an exciting fighter. And I’m not really worried about that, because it’s about putting on a show. You know, it’s MMA, there’s many ways of losing. And I just feel like, as long as I put my script together, I’m good. So now is about putting on a show and try to get these wins back up.”
Diakiese is set to fight in Columbus just one week after a huge event that took place in his home of England. When asked if he wished he had been a part of that epic card at the O2 Arena in London, Diakiese took a philosophical approach.
“I don’t think at it like that, but I know it was a great card,” he said.
“I feel like, right now, especially with the position I’m in, I’m opening the main card in Columbus. I’m happy with that, you know? It’s meant to be, so I’m happy with that.
“But I do feel after finishing this guy, I probably want to be in a co-main event or something. For example, Dan Hooker was co-main in London. He was on, I think, two losses, two losses or something, I’m not sure. I felt like I should be in that spot, probably, because I know I put on exciting fights in London. I’m undefeated in London, but I’m excited (to be) going back there (one day).”
He’ll look to strengthen that possibility by picking up victory over Viacheslav Borshchev on Saturday night.