Following the first TKO loss of his career to James Vick at Madison Square Garden in November 2017, it looked as though “Irish Joe” would return to action in Adelaide in late 2018. The UFC found a replacement when his initial opponent for the Australian date, Ross Pearson, was ruled out of the contest, but later it was Duffy who was struck from the event with a rib injury.
Even the Diakiese bout came as a surprise.
“The Bonecrusher” appeared to have signed on the dotted line to fight long time adversary Stevie Ray in the English capital. Yet, an injury to the Scot left the door open for the Donegal native who was more than happy to take his fellow Dominance Management fighter’s place on the card.
“I think the fight with Stevie was matched up,” Duffy explained on the latest episode of Eurobash.
“Stevie got an injury and I’d been waiting on a date for March. Obviously I got injured and I was off that Australia card, so I was sitting tight. I had to recover and make sure the rib was fine before I started training.
“From the start of January, I was on a diet and I was starting to get ready for March, just waiting on a date. This was the ideal date. I didn’t know who the opponent was going to be, but I was lucky in a sense that the fight fell out with Stevie because this date couldn’t work out any better for me.”
An infamously awkward injury, Duffy admitted that the days dragged by as he healed his rib.
“It was slow more than anything,” he explained. “It’s one of those injuries that kind of limits everything you’re doing. I couldn’t kick right, I could only really throw my right hand; I couldn’t throw my jab. Trying to wrestle was…you know you’re so limited and it is such a slow recovery. I gave it six weeks and gave it the best chance to heal because I’ve been out for so long and I need to get back in the Octagon.”
Due to his extended time on the sidelines, Duffy claims he will approach his London bout with Diakiese with a new mindset.
“I’m definitely chomping at the bit. With this camp, I just can’t wait to get over there and get into the Octagon. My mindset has changed in a way; camps aren’t always smooth. Sometimes you’re hungry, you’re fed up and you’re body is tired and you can have everything wearing on your nerves,” he said.
“This time is a bit different, I’m going to make sure I can enjoy it. I just want to enjoy every second of fight week and when I get in there I’m really going to lap it up, take it in and enjoy every second.”
Diakiese’s three-fight skid dictates that his clash with Duffy is a must win. The Tristar fighter highlighted how the pivotal bout could effect Diakiese’s performance on the night.
“I suppose it could have one or two effects, really. It could either make you a little bit hesitant and play it a little bit safe, or it could fire you up and make you go out there and fight like you’ve got nothing to lose. We’ve seen this a million times in all different sport, when people have nothing to lose they can pull out the performances of their lives. I’ve just got to be ready for the best Marc and make sure the best version of me turns up.”
Check out the latest episode of Eurobash. The Joseph Duffy interview begins at 15:40.