Marc Diakiese vs Rafael Fiziev
Marc Diakiese (-165) (14-3-0)
Diakiese will look to follow up on an impressive 2019 by extending his current winning streak to 3-0. He’s had an up-and-down career in the UFC winning his first three, losing the next three, and then winning the next two. “Bonecrusher” is an exciting fighter with a well-rounded game and he’ll look to utilize his reach advantage and excellent kicking arsenal to keep this fight at his range. The American Top Team product has returned to his roots in England for this training camp and I expect him to be in top form. American Top Team is an excellent camp and there’s a lot of talent but it can be tough for a guy like Diakiese to get the personal attention he needs. Expect him to come out extremely focused and eager to get a finish over Fiziev.
Rafael Fiziev (+135) (7-1-0)
Just over a year ago, Fiziev found himself on the wrong side of a highlight reel knockout in his UFC debut against Magomed Mustafaev. He was finished in the 1st round via an impressive spinning back kick and punches. He followed up that performance with an unanimous decision victory over Alex White last October and he’ll look to pick up on that success against Diakiese. Fiziev is a Muay Thai specialist with 5 knockouts in his 7 wins. He’s an exciting striker and he’s not afraid to trade in the pocket, but he’ll have to improve his defense in order to have consistent success at the highest level. Fiziev is eager to show the improvements he’s made and he’ll be hoping it translates to his first knockout in the UFC.
Prediction: Marc Diakiese via KO/TKO
Diakiese’s athleticism and top-level experience gives him the edge in this matchup. He’s just 5-3 in the UFC but the three losses were all very close and came against talented guys in Drakkar Klose, Dan Hooker, and Nasrat Haqparast. Fiziev hasn’t fought anybody at that level and he showed his defensive vulnerability against Mustafaev. Alex White is a mere 4-6 in the UFC and he managed to take Fiziev the distance. Diakiese has never been knocked out in his career and I don’t expect Fiziev to be the first. Take Diakiese to get the win.