Before the main card action got underway last evening, a whole host of British fighters littered the preliminary card. The crowd were in their seats from the outset, but despite their support, there were to be mixed fortunes from beginning to end for the men fighting on home soil.
Diakiese scores TKO debut win
Marc Diakiese was making his debut last evening, but he looked nerveless from the start against Lukasz Sajewski and the former Lonsdale lightweight champion burst out the blocks in the opening seconds sprinting across the cage. The Pole wasn’t going to just roll over though and Sajewski stood toe-to-toe with Diakiese who put together some flashy striking combinations and good defense on the mat when he was briefly put on his back.
The Brit was visibly taking big gulps of breath between the two rounds, but he was filling his lungs with air for an amazing finish. Diakiese proceeded to land strikes at will on the Pole who to his credit took them well and refused to give up when given multiple opportunities. Diakiese secured the finish after three minutes of the second when he pushed Sajewski up against the cage and unloaded with a beautiful variety of hooks and uppercuts that dropped him to one knee. With the ending inevitable, the referee jumped in to call a well-timed stoppage.
Diakiese had his debut win and he celebrated with a signature standing backflip to the delight of the crowd.
Perry downs Roberts in undercard war
The first Brit to enter the arena last evening was Danny Roberts and he received an amazing response from the home crowd who were treated to a very early fight of the night contender.
The Brit seemed to be in control of the fight in the first few minutes and was landing his left hook seemingly at will. The American however, was absorbing everything Roberts had and began to take the fight to him with some stinging combinations. Round one ended with Perry stunning Roberts and looking to finish him with ground and pound on the deck. Luckily for Roberts, the bell saved him and he saw out the round.
The 60-second break was seemingly enough time for the Brit to recover and he began to use leg kicks to the body which succeeded in temporarily slowing Perry down. Much like the opening two rounds however, Perry took everything Roberts had and came back firing even stronger. With barely 30-seconds left to go, Roberts looked to have Perry stung on the feet with a left, but the American ate it well and landed left his own left and hurt Roberts badly. Just when the fight looked like it would be stopped, the klaxon sounded again for the end and just as in the first, Roberts was saved.
Having taken a lot of punishment in the first two rounds, Roberts exited his corner somehow taunting Perry before the start of the third. Robert’s gas tank was visibly all but depleted, but he battled bravely and even caused Perry to dip at the knees with another left hand.
Unfortunately for Roberts, his brief rally was to be in vain. During an exchange, Perry landed a big knee to the face and Roberts appeared to be unconscious on impact. The Brit hit the mat hard and Perry followed him to the ground and landed follow up strikes before the referee could call the fight.
Perry was declared the winner by knockout as Roberts was tended to by medical officials. Eventually, the Liverpudlian was assisted away from the Octagon as the entire crowd gave him a standing ovation.
It was an outstanding fight and a brave performance by Roberts, but Perry was simply the better man on the night.
Also on the undercard, Leon Edwards scored the biggest win of his career with a surprise submission win over Albert Tumenov.
While Both British bantamweights Brad Pickett and Davey Grant suffered submission losses in brave efforts before the main card got underway.Reuse content