Big-punching lightweight Marc Diakiese stormed onto the radar of UFC matchmakers Sean Shelby and Joe Silva with back-to-back one-punch knockout wins that totalled just ONE MINUTE.
And Doncaster-born Diakiese says he plans on showcasing his new-found knockout power on MMA’s biggest global stage when he steps into the Octagon for his UFC debut at UFC 204.
Speaking to SunSport in Hamburg, Germany, where he was part of teammate Scott Askham’s team at the recent UFC Fight Night event, Diakiese was relaxed and excited in equal measure ahead of his Octagon debut.
“I’m worried about NOTHING!” he grinned.
“I’m worried about getting there (and) doing some crazy stuff.
“I’m going to go in there and you’re going to see the same reaction, the same thing, that I’ve been doing in my last few fights.”
Those last few fights saw Diakiese produce two spectacular one-punch knockout finishes to defeat Rick Selvarajah and Kane Mousah while defending his BAMMA Lonsdale lightweight title.
A shot at the BAMMA world lightweight belt looked the likely next step for the Doncaster prospect, but that was before the UFC stepped in with a contract offer to bring the 23-year-old into the big leagues.
When the call came, Diakiese brushed it off as another one of his manager's jokes.
"When I found out I just thought it was a joke, as usual," he explained.
"Me and my manager are always messing about.
"I was on my way back from training. I was driving in my car and he rang me and said 'Oh, you've signed for the UFC' and I said 'You're joking!' I just thought he was joking as usual.
"But it was real, he wasn't joking, and I just had to wait for a few things to go through and that was it."
Now he's signed, Diakiese already has his sights set on the division's Top 10. No small task considering the UFC's 155lb lightweight division is arguably the toughest weight class in the sport right now.
But rather than be intimidated by the murderer's row of world-class talent in his division, Diakiese says he can't wait to dive into the shark tank and start claiming some big-name scalps.
"I'm just really excited," he said.
"I've trained with a few UFC fighters myself and I know where I'm at and I know where I stand among the Top 15, Top 10.
"So I'm really looking forward to it - I know I belong around the Top 10."
Diakiese's blistering finishes of Selvarajah and Mousah in BAMMA have made people on both sides of the Atlantic sit up and take notice. But it wasn't always KOs and bonuses for the young lightweight, who admitted it took a change in training camp to bring the very best out of him.
"I think it's all to do with my coach Daren Morris (of Atherton Submission Wrestling)," he explained.
"In my old gym - no disrespect to them - I was training but my mind was about winning rounds, I just kept thinking about rounds.
"Whereas with Daren Morris, every time I get in there I want to finish, and that's what he's put into me.
"He's put the killer instinct in there. Every time I get in there, I'm thinking I'm gonna finish him, I'm gonna finish. That's what he's put into me."
And that killer instinct shone through in his two recent KO finishes, which totalled just one minute, with his finish of the previously-undefeated Mousah coming with his first punch in anger in his most recent outing at BAMMA.
And as the UK's newest UFC signing, Diakiese has promised to bring the same level of excitement to the Octagon, starting in Manchester at UFC 204 when he takes on Sweden's Reza Madadi.
"It's good to know that obviously people are happy and know what I'm capable of," he said.
"I've started to believe in myself now and believe I can get there.
"All that matters, all that anybody can do, is put the work in, putting the effort in. I've put a lot of hours in with this sport and I believe I can be up there and be a world champion one day, so I'm just happy. It's good to know people out there are supporting me as well.
And he gave a message to the fans eagerly awaiting his Octagon debut on October 8, promising to bring the same brand of quick-hitting punch power we've seen in the UK to the Octagon.
“They are gonna land, those shots. You’re gonna see them,” he smiled.
“One shot and you’re out! Expect them to come!”
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