From Congo to the Octagon: MMA’s most exciting young fighter

Marc Diakiese was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He probably didn’t hear Biggie Small’s “Juicy” until he moved from Africa to the UK at age 12. Diakiese burst onto the MMA scene in England in 2013 and hasn’t looked back since. Undefeated as a professional and 3-0 in the UFC, “Bonecrusher” is just blowing up like he thought he would.

Knockouts, mohawks and a big smile is the easiest way to get people talking about you. The right look, an accent and the ability to sleep opponents in front of large crowds is something the new UFC is in dire need of. Sound familiar? It should, and while “The Notorious” Conor McGregor is off playing boxing with Floyd Mayweather, Marc Diakiese is in the octagon showing fight fans what the new breed of MMA looks like.

Diakiese’s 30 second drubbing of fellow lightweight Teemu Packalen was Bonecrusher’s coming out party. Previously known as a young prospect without much hype behind him, Marc was still figuring out the MMA machine. Before he marbleized Teemu Packalen, Diakiese had an equal number of finish and decision wins on his record.

The power and wrestling base were always there, but the move to American Top Team gave Marc something far greater than power – it gave him self-belief. When you work and train with the best you can beat the best. ATT gave Daikiese the confidence to shower the MMA world with his full arsenal of skills. There may not have been another 30 seconds in UFC history where a fighter came out and flawlessly executed three high level strikes in a row before finishing an opponent in the fashion that Marc executed.

The referee slaps his hands and the fight begins in London. Bonecrusher blitzes to the center of the octagon. His opponent, Teemu Packalen, shuffles forward. Less than ten seconds into the fight, Diakiese grazes Teemu with a spinning two touch wheel kick; the crowd roars. Both fighters reset, in a flash of flying limbs Marc lands a spinning heel kick that sends Packalen into the cage, hurt but not out; Packalen begins to circle out.

Diakiese stalks his opponent and slips Packalen’s punch. Teemu then feints a left hand and suddenly time stops for a moment. Suddenly in the matrix, Diakiese recognizes the feint and uncorks an overhand right that lands on the chin of Packalen. Teemu is out on his feet, exit the matrix, Teemu crashes to the canvas. The referee dives on an unconscious figure.

Bonecrusher admires his work for a moment, maybe somewhat shocked at his own power and speed. Almost as exciting as the knockout, Diakiese’s celebration is a mix of gymnastics and breakdancing ending in a full split both arms flexed smiling from ear to ear.

SEE ALSO: Brazilian MMA fighter KOs opponent with savage front kick

That performance from Marc Diakiese symbolizes just where hand-to-hand combat is heading. These flashy spinning techniques are the future of the sport. In a time where the sport is evolving and the level of competition is growing exponentially, these unorthodox attacks are the only movements that can surprise and shake the confidence of seasoned skillful competitors. Techniques executed by Diakiese threw off the rhythm and timing of Packalen, which opened up the simple yet effective overhand right. If those attacks weren’t thrown, Packalen would not have been forced out of his comfort zone and the fight might have gone completely different.

That spectacular knockout in front of Bonecrusher’s home crowd has given him a platform to begin a Twitter war with flashy striker and established pro Paul “Irish Dragon” Felder. Felder has been in with the likes of Edson Barboza, who is in his own right, arguably the best striker at 155 pounds.

A fight with Felder can lead to a fight with Barboza and a win there can land Marc Diakiese on the short list for title contention. Diakiese must be thinking “Keep chasing Money Mayweather, Conor, I’ll just continue to sleep dudes in the octagon.”

It may seem like a lifetime away but things move fast in the UFC and the 2017 fight calendar is still young.

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