Marc Diakiese still thinks the UFC is some distance away from hosting an event in Africa, but he admits that it would mean a lot to him to see an event take place on the continent.
Given that Nigerian welterweight Kamaru Usman now holds a title, and other African fighters like Israel Adesanya and Francis Ngannou are bearing down on title contention, UFC president Dana White has insisted that an African event is on his radar.
Although Diakiese has not returned to his home in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since his teenage years, he believes an event in Africa could have big ramifications on the sport as a whole.
“It would mean a lot and I think it’s great that we’re having more African fighters coming out and making noise,” Diakiese told MMA Fighting’s Eurobash podcast. “There’s a lot of talent in Africa — people don’t even realize it. I think if they had events in Africa, you’d have styles coming out that you’ve never even heard of.”
Although many fight fans see Diakiese as a U.K. fighter given his ascent under the BAMMA banner, he plans to make an effort to represent his native Congolese roots when he takes on Joseph Duffy at UFC London.
“This fight I’m walking out with a Congo flag,” Diakiese said. “I have done that before, but the plan is to walk out with the official Congo flag. I get a lot of U.K. support but I’m trying to represent my country as well.”
Despite Usman holding the UFC welterweight title, Diakiese still believes that it could be a while before the sport sees a UFC event being staged in Africa.
“It’s Africa so I think we’ll need a couple more fighters before that will happen,” Diakiese said. “It will be hard. It’s not going to be as easy, but we’ll see.”
Check out the latest episode of Eurobash. The Marc Diakiese interview begins at 13:30.