MMA: Marc Diakiese, the Congolese who wants to become king of the UFC

Marc Diakiese confronts the Irishman Joseph Duffy, this March 16, 2019 & agrave; London, at UFC Fight Night London, after three straight wins in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) league. The young Congolese ...

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Congolese Marc Diakiese, in his last fight, on July 22, 2018 in Hamburg, against Nasrat Haqparast. Photo by Jeff Bottari / Zuffa LLC / Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Marc Diakiese faces Irishman Joseph Duffy on 16 March 2019 in London at UFC Fight Night London after three straight defeats in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). The young Congolese naturalized British hopes on this occasion to resume its ascent. He still dreams of becoming world champion of mixed martial arts (MMA).

On March 16, 2019, Marc Diakiese hopes to blow his 26 candles without seeing 36 candles. The Congolese faces the Irishman Joseph Duffy, on his birthday, in the lightweight category of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the most prestigious mixed martial arts (MMA) league in the world. The so-called "Bonecrusher" - "the bone breaker" - takes part in UFC Fight Night London, in a huge O² Arena in London that he knows well, the naturalized British. " I have already fought in this room ," said the person . So I can not wait to be there . "

It was two years ago. Marc Diakiese had then sprayed his opponent in 30 seconds. He had his winning streak of 12 in as many MMA games, including three in a row at UFC. But since then, the winning machine has stopped and lost its last three clashes. " I do not feel pressured ," he swears, however, joined by phone by This is an opportunity for me to have fun. I am not worried about losing. I'm going to fight just because I love it . "

Left Congo alone at the age of 12

It is better to love adversity when we had the childhood of Marc Diakiese. It is at 12 years that the native of Kinshasa left his parents to join, alone, an uncle, in England. " I was just looking for a better life ," he says, assuring that he was not denied by his father at the time, contrary to an article in The Sun. It gave me the opportunity to go to school . "

The schooling of Marc Diakiese has not been a long quiet river between his difficulties in speaking English and the many bullying of some classmates. " The others were trying to beat me, but I passed that, " he recalls.

Difficult beginnings

In fact, Marc Diakiese sometimes had to use his fists to be respected, he who was mostly playing sports with his feet, in the Leeds United Academy, before dropping the football because of the distance with Doncaster . But he explains that he has become more interested in MMA than in the need to learn to defend himself. " I started training seven or eight years ago, " he recalls with pleasure. When he started out as an MMA, the youngest adult was working in the railway sector. " It was really a mess ," he explains. Sometimes I fell asleep during work .

Today, thanks to his contract signed in 2016 with the UFC, Marc Diakiese can devote himself to 100% MMA, his only concern or almost, except, obviously, his girlfriend and their two children. " I think everyone should do mixed martial arts because they learn to be disciplined ," he says. Not only during a fight, but also in general. Because in life, we must respect others ". It was this philosophy that pushed him to accept Gay Times Magazine .

Not yet a prophet in his country

For now, the reputation of Marc Diakiese has not really reached the ears of his compatriots. And for good reason. " I do not often see Congolese come to me or recognize me ," regrets the expatriate. He hopes this situation will change. " Being Congolese means a lot to me ," he says. I'm proud of it. During my fight, I will come with a flag "from the DRC.

Marc Diakiese has not returned to Kinshasa since he left his family. " I'm still young, you know ," he replies. And Congo is a totally different country. I wanted to get used to people here and build a better life before going back, which I try to do. But I think that after my next fight, if everything goes as planned, I will return . " Without a king's belt of light weight certainly. But " Bonecrusher " did not say his last word. He still hopes to shine as much as his friend Francis Ngannou of Cameroon, or the Nigerian Kamaru Usman, the first African UFC world champion.

ref: rfi