Marc “Bonecrusher” Diakiese, 29, has been in the UFC since 2016 with a 5-5 record. Viacheslav “Slava Claus” Borshchev, 30, earned a contract following an impressive knockout on Dana White’s Contender Series in 2021. His following debut was similar with another impressive knockout win.
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Borshchev is a moderate favorite against Diakiese before UFC on
- Diakiese: +136
- Borschev: -162
Diakiese has been in the UFC since 2016 and has had 10 fights; but, in many ways, he still feels like a prospect. The lightweight has a well-rounded game that combines athleticism and technique. On the feet, Diakiese is an orthodox fighter who pushes an average pace with average volume and lands only 38% of his significant strikes. However, when “Bonecrusher” does land, he tends to land in combination and with cracking shots. He is adept at landing his strikes from a variety of angles to a variety of locations: heady, body, and leg. In the wrestling and grappling department, Diakiese averages 2.1 takedowns per fight and uses his strength well to transition the clinch to the ground. Diakiese, despite his experience, is still prospect-like because he has a wide array of athletic attacks; but, he still struggles to find ways to win. This is because his consistency is lacking. Diakiese does not consistently land his strikes or takedowns, does not consistently dictate range, and does not consistently push volume. His level of competition is a factor in Diakiese’s inconsistency that must be recognized. Unless something can click, and he combines all of his skills into a complete game, he’ll continue to struggle.
Borschev is very singular in his approach to MMA; but, that singular approach, his kickboxing, has been impressive. Borschev entered the UFC with a high kickboxing pedigree and showcased those skills in his debut. “Slava” will regularly use his size and strength to methodically move forward. As he moves, Borschev uses feints well to create openings for his punches and kicks. With a full arsenal of kickboxing weapons, Borschev can land a heavy strike in even the smallest window of opportunity. We saw that in his debut when he landed a thudding body shot for the knockout. His striking is an impressive combination of accuracy, power, and intelligence. However, Borschev is a kickboxer who is still developing a full MMA game; specifically, his ground game is still in the infant phase. In only 3:47, Borschev’s opponent was able to land 2 takedowns. Once on his back, Borschev struggled to do anything other than use his brute strength to get the fight back to the feet. Once he starts facing more complete UFC fighters, Borshchev will need to tighten up his defensive grappling.
In theory, Diakiese should have the fluidity and experience on the feet to avoid Borschev’s big shots, then, land a takedown to exploit Borschev’s ground gap. However, I don’t anticipate that theory manifesting into reality. Instead, I anticipate Borschev being able to stuff takedown attempts or get up if Diakiese can land them. Then, on the feet, I see Borschev outclassing Diakiese in a kickboxing heavy bout.
Prediction: Borshchev by decision
Michael Pounders is a high school English Teacher, a boxer himself, and is a fan who loves, gambles on, and nerds out about all things MMA.