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TUF 25 Finale fight card: Marc Diakiese vs Drakkar Klose preview

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Manuw vs Anderson Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight prospects Marc Diakiese and Drakkar Klose will collide this Friday (July 7, 2017) at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 25 Finale inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

In his first two fights inside the Octagon, Diakiese proved himself a considerable prospect. Sure, he showed off some holes in his game, but the 24 year old impressed with his physicality and power. In his last fight, however, Diakiese really announced himself with a 30 second knockout win.

Klose is also an unbeaten prospect, but not as much is really known about the MMA Lab-trained athlete. He dominated his UFC debut with a strong mix of wrestling and kickboxing, but this is the biggest fight of his career by a considerable measure.

Let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for each man.

Marc Diakiese

Record: 12-0

Key Wins: Frankie Perez (UFC Fight Night 102), Teemu Packalen (UFC Fight Night 107), Lukasz Sajewski (UFC 204)

Key Losses: None

Keys to Victory: Diakiese is an incredible athlete. He’s a little wild technically, but his offense is definitely there, as Diakiese can decimate his opponents with looping punches, jumping kicks, or power takedowns.

This bout will serve as a test of his well-rounded game.

Diakiese has a decent chance of landing another quick knockout. It’s just a constant possibility for the Englishman, as he hits really damn hard. If that below two minute knockout blow does not immediately land, then Klose will serve as a tough test to Diakiese’s gas tank and strategy.

Basically, if Diakiese empties the tank with offense and Klose is still standing there at the end of round one, he’s in for a really bad night.

To avoid that fate, “Bonecrusher” would be well-advised to make use of the movement and range weapons he showed in his last fight. If Diakiese is moving well at range and kicking his opponent, he’s scoring points without expending a ton of energy. Then, when Klose attempts to shorten the distance, Diakiese will be able to hunt for his brutal overhand.

Drakkar Klose

Record: 7-0-1

Key Wins: Devin Powell (UFC Fight Night 103)

Key Losses: None

Keys to Victory: Klose is a strong athlete with a solid wrestling background. In his debut, Klose showed off the physicality and aggression that builds from such a base, throwing his opponent around and beating him up in all the transitional faces of MMA.

On paper, this is really a great style match up for Klose. There’s always that chance he gets flattened by Diakiese early, but his combination of pressure and wrestling tend to be just the ticket to overwhelm a young fighter relying so heavily on athleticism like Diakiese.

Diakiese is more confident in his grappling than he should be. In the past, he’s proven willing to wrestle despite being the better striker, wasting energy by muscling moves. Opposite a similarly strong wrestler with better technique in Klose, that could be disastrous.

Additionally, Klose trains at a camp that excels at pressure. MMA Lab trains athletes to push the pace and thrive in ugly fights, which is precisely the style necessary to defeat someone like Diakiese.

The game plan is simply: push Diakiese back, shoot for takedowns when the opening arises, and grind the Englishman out.

Bottom Line: It’s a fun style clash of athletic Lightweight prospects.

It’s hard to make any noise at 155 lbs. The top guys are unbelievably talented, and there’s a couple dozen dangerous prospects trying to climb their way into those ranks. Worse still, there’s a decade’s worth of crafty old veterans in the mix, who have been skilled enough to survive at this weight class for so long.

Despite all that competition, Diakiese impressed the UFC world with his last knockout. If he can follow that up with another big win — his fourth straight in the Octagon — on the main card, it could possibly earn him a bout with a top 15 fighter. If not, it’s back to the middle of the card and division.

As for Klose, it’s a chance to capitalize on his opponent’s momentum. Klose is still very unknown, but handing Diakiese his first professional loss would go a long way in establishing him at 155 lbs. Meanwhile, a loss sets him back considerably, as there’s not much room for error for someone who has yet to carve out a position for himself.

At The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, Marc Diakese and Drakkar Klose will throw down in the co-main event. Which man will keep his perfect record intact?

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