We’ve got a very exciting lightweight encounter to look forward to this summer, as 30-year-old studs Marc Diakiese (16-6) and Joel Alvarez (19-3) go to battle at UFC on ESPN 49, also known as UFC London.
UFC on ESPN 49 is to go down on July 22, 2023, live from the o2 Arena in London, England, and is to be headlined by a pair of heavyweight contenders in no. 5 ranked Tom Aspinall (12-3) and no. 10 ranked Marcin Tybura (24-7).
Marc Diakiese began his MMA career in 2013, where he captured the MMATC & CK lightweight championships in his first and second professional bouts before the years end, both via knockout in round one.
The Englishman then won his next four bouts before capturing the BAMMA lightweight championship, a title he defended twice (both victories coming via KO in :24 & :36 seconds respectively) prior to joining the UFC with a record of 9-0.
Diakiese then won his first three UFC bouts in a mere five months, including two knockouts, before dropping his next three-straight, falling from a perfect 12-0 to 12-3, all three defeats coming in one years time.
Nearly a year later, Diakiese would return to form with a win over Joe Duffy (UD), and then Lando Vannata (UD), both in 2019.
Diakiese would however drop his next two-straight to current no. 6 ranked Rafael Fiziev (UD), and then Rafael Alves (guillotine choke) in 2020 and 2021.
A two-fight win streak would soon follow, where Diakiese showed us a new wrinkle to his game; he’d always been known as a flashy, effective striker, but he showed off his wrestling abilities in his wins over Viacheslav Borschev (UD) and Damir Hadzovic (UD), handily winning all six rounds.
This led up to his most recent encounter with Michael Johnson, where he was defeated via unanimous decision last December.
Joel Alvarez was also a champion before coming to the UFC, himself having claimed the AFL lightweight title in his bout prior to joining.
Following defeat to former M-1 Challenge lightweight champion Damir Ismagulov in his promotional debut, the Spaniard would win his next four-straight, securing all four victories via finish. He, like Diakiese, defeated Joe Duffy (guillotine choke), and he became the first man to ever stop Thiago Moises (TKO) with strikes in his most recent victory.
And, Alvarez, like Diakiese, lost his most recent bout, himself to Arman Tsarukyan (TKO) earlier this year in February.
Diakiese has been submitted twice in his 22-fight career, both via guillotine choke, something Alvarez is truly great at with 16 submission victories to his credit. Many of those submission victories also came from front chokes. Alvarez on the other hand has been stopped via strikes twice, something Diakiese has shown proficiency in.
Who do you see coming out on top in this epic lightweight match up of European talents going down at UFC London?
If you enjoyed this piece, feel free to share it on social media!
I became a fan of combat sports when I was 12 years old. I was scrolling through the channels and landed upon Versus, where WEC was televised. Urijah Faber fought Jens Pulver for the second time that night. That’s the first fight I ever saw, and I was immediately hooked. So eventually, I began covering the sport in the fourth quarter of 2018, and have since started writing about animals as well. If you’d like to see those pieces, be sure to check out learnaboutnature.com!