Marc Diakiese is coming off his first professional defeat to Drakkar Klose, but he has been handed the biggest assignment of his young career as he is set to face New Zealand’s Daniel Hooker on Dec. 30 at UFC 219.
According to the highly touted UK prospect, he has received information from Hooker’s training camp that he may be able to use to his advantage when they finally lock horns at the T-Mobile Arena.
Diakiese believes that “The Hangman” is the best striker he has faced, but he has found some comfort in knowing how he is preparing for their fight from the messages he has received from his opponent’s camp.
“He’s got some really nice knees,” Diakiese told MMAFighting.com.
“I don’t think I’ve ever fought someone with his level of striking, but I’m confident that I can come out on top.
“I’ve had people that have been talking from his gym that are telling me things that he’s doing. I feel like I’m learning about him, and I might be able to use that to my advantage when we fight.
He added: “I’ve been leaked some info. I’ve got people messaging me about what he does. I’m not all too interested in what I’ve heard, but I’ve been keeping it quiet because I know I have a lot of people watching me to see what I’m going to do next.”
The ATT man claimed his main takeaway from the information is that Hooker is quite an “emotional” character. Diakiese is known for trying to get into his opponents’ heads ahead of their bouts and claimed he will “crank up” his usual weigh-in antics when he and Hooker face off for the last time.
“I don’t think I’ve gained all that much from it because it’s a fight at the end of the day. The one thing that I definitely know is that he’s very emotional. I really think that can play a big part in it.
“From what I’ve heard, he’s just a very emotional guy and that could have a big impact on the fight. Put it this way, I’m looking forward to the weigh-ins.”
“I have to crank it up a few notches,” he continued. “You’ve got to try and use something like that to your advantage.”
Some fans have began to doubt Diakiese following his first defeat, but he feels like any negative views on him have only strengthened his resolve ahead of his meeting with Hooker.
“When people doubted me before, I always moved forward,” he said.
“That’s exactly what I’m going to do in this fight. I know there is a loss on my record and I accept that. All I’m focused on now is having another great performance.
“People haven’t said all that much because people know what I’m capable of. Having said that, of course there were some people talking sh*t, but that’s part of the game.
“I guess it’s made me hungrier. I find myself being a lot more precise with everything in this camp from training sessions to nutrition. I’m making sure with everything. I want there to be absolutely no excuses when I get back in there.”