Michael Johnson vs Marc Diakiese booked for UFC on ESPN 42

Michael Johnson vs Marc Diakiese booked for UFC on ESPN 42

We’ve been informed of a very exciting lightweight encounter going down at UFC on ESPN 42, and that’s a bout between The Ultimate Fighter 14 finalist Michael Johnson and English talent Marc Diakiese.

UFC on ESPN 42 is to go down on December 3, 2022, live from the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida, and it is expected to be headlined by a welterweight showdown between two-time title challenger Stephen Thompson and the 2020 Breakthrough Fighter of the Year Kevin Holland.

Reverting back to Johnson versus Diakiese; this is a very exciting clash for so many reasons.

Both had a massive amount of hype once they came over to the UFC, and both have had their hiccups along the way.

Michael Johnson first came to the UFC on December 4, 2010 (one day shy of 12 years ago) with a record of 8-4, where he lost a universal 29-28 unanimous decision to season winner Jonathan Brookins.

After a stellar first round, he’d be outwrestled throughout the second and third.

But he went 4-0 on the show, and he’d return that next June to secure his first promotional victory, which came via first-round TKO. Johnson would go 3-1 over his next four, defeating the likes of TUF 13 winner Tony Ferguson (UD), as well as WEC vets Shane Roller (UD) and Danny Castillo (KO), before he’d lose his next two-straight.

Another win streak would soon follow, where he won his next four-straight over the likes of Joe Lauzon (UD), Gleison Tibau (KO), Melvin Guillard (UD), and Edson Barboza (UD). This was the time Johnson was really hitting his stride, but unfortunate for him, he’d go 1-5 over his next six.

This began with a split decision defeat to current no. 6 ranked Beneil Dariush, which was an incredibly controversial outcome, before he’d lose to Nate Diaz. This marked the first time Johnson had ever truly lost a stand up fight.

Next would come a KO victory over future interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier, before he’d lose his next three.

The first defeat of this skid came against future, now former lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov (kimura), before he’d lose to former WSOF champion and future interim UFC champion Justin Gaethje (TKO), and then Darren Elkins in his featherweight debut (rear naked choke).

The Nurmagomedov fight really changed him, though he nearly knocked both Gaethje and Elkins out more than once in each respective bout.

Johnson would then defeat Andre Fili (SD) and Artem Lobov (UD), before he’d go on another losing streak over his next four bouts.

Following a near four-year winless streak, Johnson would rebound with a vicious KO victory over Alan Patrick earlier this year in May, before he’d lose a very close split decision to Jamie Mullarkey in July, a fight many believed he’d won.

Then we have former BAMMA lightweight champion Marc Diakiese, who came to the UFC in May of 2016 with a perfect record of 9-0. The Englishman would win his first three promotional bouts, securing two knockout victories in the process.

However, a three-fight skid would soon follow, where he was first defeated by Drakkar Klose (SD) in a very close fight, before losing to Dan Hooker (guillotine choke) and Nasrat Haqparast (UD), dropping his record from 12-0 to 12-3.

Diakiese would rebound with a pair of back-to-back victories over Joe Duffy (UD) and Lando Vannata (UD), before going on another losing skid where he was defeated by current no. 7 ranked Rafael Fiziev (UD) and then Rafael Alves (guillotine choke).

However, Diakiese would make the proper adjustments, and he’s gone 2-0 thus far into the year of 2022. He’d showcase his wrestling in both outings, something we never saw out of him, as he defeated both Viacheslav Borshchev (UD) and Damir Hadzovic (UD) in March and July.

Where Johnson comes from a wrestling background, he almost never uses it; and where Diakiese was always known as a striker, he’s been very effective with his wrestling and grappling recently.

Johnson comes in with a record of 20-18, while Diakiese comes in with a record of 16-5.

But don’t let Johnson’s record fool you. He’s the best 50/50 fighter in the sport, three of his wins show that.

Firstly, he lost controversial decisions to Dariush and Mullarkey, and he boasts wins over Tony Ferguson (who initially went 15-1 in the UFC, only losing to Johnson), Edson Barboza (a 25-3 kickboxing champion he defeated entirely on the feet), and Dustin Poirier (KO’d him in 95 seconds).

All three of those men were in the top five for years on end, and one still is.

Who comes out on top in this epic lightweight affair?

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