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Marc Diakiese discusses signing with Professional Fighters League

By Samuel Phillips

Within the world of mixed martial arts, competitors are no stranger to the concept of change. Marc Diakiese is one such person, having just last month signed with the PFL (Professional Fighters League). 

Marc on his future in the PFL, comparing it to where he’s been

The British lightweight fighter appears optimistic with this new opportunity, speaking to Dom Smith about his PFL debut, and moving away from the UFC. “What’s meant to be is meant to be, and I feel like everything happens at the right time,” says Marc assuredly. “I’m here to capitalise on everything.” 

Reflecting on his past, he compares it to where he is now: “For me, I’ve done good, you know? When I look back I’m like, wow. I look at most of my friends and I’m like, I haven’t done bad.” He mentions having kids, saying: “I’m just more focused as a human. I have a path, and it’s given me something to do.” 

On being asked about his roots in Doncaster and Congo

“Growing up (in Doncaster) things are different. You’ve gotta fight. It’s in my roots! I came here when I was 12…it was early days. I think it was new having Black people move to Doncaster so in those times you had to defend yourself. It kinda, like, built me into who I am.” Marc also talks about his family, both within Doncaster as well as elsewhere: “I feel like I have a responsibility. My mum’s back home, so I’ve got to provide for her. I’ve got to provide for my kids here – it’s just what I do as a man. I have to provide.”

His words to young people following his path

“When I started, it wasn’t a thing where I thought ‘I can make money out of this’. If anything, I did this sport to keep out of trouble.” He chuckles, remembering his past: “I’m like, ‘I can’t keep getting arrested,’ so I need something to keep me busy. I found a gym across the corner. When I went there, I was a young, aggressive kid – I thought I could beat everybody up…they just humble you – but I kept going, and it changed me. As a young person, as long as you’re enjoying it…as long as you stay consistent, it doesn’t matter where you are in the world, you’ll be where I am.” Dom pushes, asking if it’s discipline Marc’s talking about: “It’s having that discipline. You’ve gotta make noise – no matter where you are, these places like UFC will find you. Before I knew it, I was there – I thought, ‘that’s a bit quick!’”

The definition of success

“A lot of people don’t realise – I came from Congo, you know? For me to say ‘I own a house’ – not even that – ‘I own a car’, to myself? That’s a successful story. I fought in Vegas…people wanna watch me? That’s a successful story to me.” He elaborates on how he sees his position: “I’m really enjoying what I’m doing, my journey, and what I’m becoming.” 

Diakiese’s next fight will be on September 14th at Bellator Champions Series, facing Tim Wilde, with tickets on-sale now at