With PFL kicking off another season, their roster continues to grow with new stars as well as growing stars. One of those stars who last competed during the 2021 PFL season but is making his return is Tyler Diamond. On two days shy of two years, Diamond will make his return to the PFL cage where he will face an undefeated Movlid Khaybulaev. Facing an undefeated foe is nothing new for Diamond, who participated in The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season 27, which was only comprised of undefeated rising stars.
Finding MMA And Early Days
As with many fighters, a group of friends was his initial introduction to the sport of mixed martial arts. “I first got introduced to MMA at 15 years old from some guys that wrestled at my high school before me and were then fighting. They recruited me to train with them and helped me a ton getting my feet wet in the sport. In high school, I just trained in the off-season of wrestling as a fun way to stay in shape,” Diamond told MyMMANews.
From 2015 to 2017, Diamond ran through the regional scene amassing a record of 8-0, including winning a Global Knockout featherweight championship. His perfect record and his upward trajectory in the featherweight rankings earned him a spot on TUF 27. Contestants for this season all had an undefeated record in the lightweight and featherweight divisions. Diamond was selected by Daniel Cormier as the first overall pick and would face a team coached by Stipe Miocic. Though Diamond was able to score a victory in the tournament, he was unable to make it any further in the house.
Moving On From Injury In PFL 2023 Season
Coming off of a two-year layoff from injury and in search of a PFL championship, how will Diamond adapt to re-entering the cage? “I think coming back after a two year layoff for me is fine. I’m 32 years old and better than I’ve ever been. Half of this game is having the right mindset – I have that. I don’t need to fight anymore, I want to and I can beat anyone on any given day if I fight to my potential,” stated Diamond.
A familiar task, Diamond will face an undefeated Russian in Khybulaev. What is it going to take for Diamond to stop the freight-train that is Khybulaev? “In order to beat Movlid, I can’t let him dictate the pace of the fight. He does a very good job of getting into his dominant positions and doing just enough to secure rounds,” said Diamond.
PFL Into The Future
With Diamond having the potential to be a bright light for PFL moving into the future, the organization recently signed heavyweight Francis Ngannou. This signing has all the potential of propelling PFL to the forefront of how MMA will look. “I think the Francis signing is huge for PFL. I think in order for it to really help them further they need to go out & sign some other well-known heavyweights that can actually pose some challenge to him. Someone like Ben Rothwell comes to mind.”
I am a life-long MMA fan who has been a fan since UFC 1. I was born in Illinois but raised in South Louisiana, home of many great mixed martial artists. I started martial arts at the age of 4 and continued into my adult years where I served nearly 10 years in law enforcement. I feel my job is to convey the stories of the MMA fighters we enjoy to watch and share their stories with the world.
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