Marc Diakiese stole the show in London, when he blasted Teemu Packalen with a multi-faceted high kick early, a spinning body kick immediately after, and finally a right hand right down the boulevard that ended things quick. The whole fight lasted just 30 seconds. And as the crowd at the O2 came unhinged for its most promising prospect, Diakiese celebrated via a breakdance routine.
In other words, if you didn’t know who “The Bonecrusher” was before, UFC Fight Night 107 was the night he put himself on the map. And as with most fighters who make a resounding splash on a big stage, Diakiese had others looking to get a piece of him directly afterwards. Namely, fellow lightweight Paul Felder, who recently scored a first-round TKO of his own over Alessandro Ricci in February. Diakiese and Felder went back and forth on Twitter, which got many people talking about seeing the two fight.
On Monday, Diakiese said he would love to fight the currently unranked Felder, if for no other reason just to shut him up.
“He’s just a f---ing little Irish wannabe, because I don’t even know who he is, he’s just talking crap,” Diakiese said during an appearance on The MMA Hour. “I beat his teammate Frankie [Perez], and now he’s coming forward. Like I said, I don’t mind, I’ll fight anybody, but he’s one of these guys, he’s experienced, he’s a veteran. If I were to beat him, I’d look good.
“I want to smash his face in front of his own people. That’s my plan.”
The 24-year-old Diakiese is undefeated thus far in his mixed martial arts career (12-0), and he’s now 3-0 in the UFC. In his debut, he scored an emphatic second-round TKO of Lukasz Sajewski at UFC 204 in Manchester.
In the aftermath of his highlight-reel KO of Packalen, Diakiese — who moved to American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Fla. for his camp — alluded to his hopes for a step up in competition for his next time out. Felder, who has gone 3-1 in his last fought, fits the bill.
After the social media exchange, Diakiese said he talked to him manager “straight away” about doing the fight, and that he wanted to make sure it was in America. And if the fight could happen in July during International Fight Week, even better.
“I agree with that, and I think that would be a great match-up for me to get out there, to look good in front of his own town, to look good beating him up badly and I come back nicely,” Diakiese said.
If there was a conflicted tone to Diakiese’s plan going forward, it’s that he wants a ranked opponent to showcase himself against next, yet the idea of fighting Felder has its advantages. The Philadelphia fighter — who goes by the nickname “The Irish Dragon” — has demonstrated that he likes to stand and trade, which plays right into Diakiese’s wheelhouse, too.
“His style is standard,” he said. “But I like to win. Even if it means taking you down for three rounds, I will, but I like to win simple as that. And I can’t see him beating me in any way.”
As far as rankings go, Diakiese admitted he’s not even sure where Felder exists in the lay of the land.
“I don’t even know where he is, I haven’t looked,” he said. “I don’t know where he is. That’s the problem. He’s trying to call me out, like I said — he’s trying to get that hype, but my hype I earned. I beat people up to get it. I didn’t just get here. And I think he’s just trying to steal it. I don’t mind giving him a beating, no problem. I’m just waiting for it. So, once ready, I’ll be there.
“I think Paul Felder would be a great fight. Because he likes to stand up and his style is just average. He doesn’t do much. I like that fight, to show him up in front of his own people.”
When informed that Felder wasn’t in the top 15, he shook his head.
“He’s not even ranked,” he said. “He’s no good to me. For me, it’s stupid even responding to him. I thought he was ranked, but he’s not.”
The one thing Diakiese understood about his viral KO of Packalen was that his stock soared northward, and because of it he became a target. He said at this point it’s up to others to call him out, not vice-versa.
“I just think that right now, people want to fight me, so they should be calling me out,” he said. “I don’t want to call out anybody. I built my own hype, you know what I mean? I’m one of the best, so they should be calling the best out. I shouldn’t be calling them.
“They should be calling me, because I’m the name now. They want to fight me, come and call me out.”