British MMA master travels to the American Top Team gym in Florida and hates missing his kids
MARC DIAKIESE is building a reputation as one of the most spectacular knock-out artists in MMA and is putting his bonuses into bricks and mortar.
The UFC ace produced a mesmerising 28-second finish at Fight Night London in March, sending Teemu Packalen to sleep with a thunderous right hand after two brilliant kicks.
The English MMA hero would have been forgiven for splurging the £40,000 bonus he banked for Performance of the Night on bling to match his flashy KO but it’s going on a home for his young family.
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After treating his son Junior to some toys and whisking his family away for a well-earned Spanish break, Diakiese is putting his money on the property ladder as his stock continues to rise
He told SunSport: “The hype hasn’t died down yet, things have changed a bit.
“Everyone is talking about the fight and the knock-out, saying it was a great fight.
“I’ve constantly got people inboxing me telling me how great the fight was and it’s great.
“I let Junior watch the fight on TV but every time daddy wins he wants something new. But it doesn’t come out of my bonus money.
“The bonuses are going towards buying us a new house, hopefully soon. I treated him to some stuff that he needed but that’s it for now.
“Before I went to the states for my training camp I booked a holiday to Spain for after the fight so we could spend some together.
“It’s nice to spend some time together, just us, for the week.”
After a heartbreaking childhood and an unsettling move to England from the DR Congo, aged just 12, it is no shock Diakiese wants to give his two kids a solid base.
It also makes his regular trips to Florida – where he studies MMA at the star-studded American Top Team gym – even more difficult as he leaves his little’uns behind.
But it is paying off for the lightning lightweight who has some of the world’s best MMA coaches clambering to train him and a list of super-hero nicknames to add to ‘Bone Crusher’.
Diakiese said: “I am always trying to learn something new and at ATT they are always calling me new names like Bruce Lee and The Ninja.
“Every time I spar there seems to be three or four coaches watching me and they all want to teach me different stuff, so I just try to take it all in and learn what I can.
“More people know who I am over there now but I use them as great examples as they treat me just like any other person.
“I am not worried about if they know me, or what they think of me, I don’t care.
“I like going there to learn from each fighter and how they behave and train. I go there nice and quiet and study each fighter and try to take it all in.”
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Make his Marc
Rising UFC star Marc Diakiese left his African home for a better life in England aged 12… his father said ‘Forget I’m your dad’
Despite his red mohawk and amazing dance moves, Diakiese does not crave attention like some of the UFC’s top stars.
The doting dad likes to get on with the school run in peace, before training, but he’s inundated with requests – from parents not kids!
He revealed: “I don’t get too much attention on the school run, I don’t think my boy talks about what I do that much, it’s more the parents.
“It’s usually the parents that want to stop and talk to me but I have to explain that I am in a rush and need to get to training.”
The rising 24-year-old star is targeting a July fight in nearby Glasgow or a massive trip to UFC home Las Vegas for his next fight, where fans will get to see his stunning range of skills.
Some Twitter trolls reckon Diakiese is too good to be true and is pushing 30 instead of 25.
Luckily he is taking the praise and stick with equally small measures of salt.
He said: “There’s nothing I can do about that sort of stuff apart from laugh it off.
“I don’t mind people knowing me and it’s nice to interact with fans, they know the sort of person you are. I just take it all as it comes and enjoy it.”