MARC DIAKIESE has found training for Fight Island a breeze – but admits the Abu Dhabi heat is forcing him to stay indoors.
He arrived for his lightweight clash against Rafael Fiziev, 27, earlier in the week, and was immediately tested for Covid-19 and put in quarantine.
Diakiese had to then get creative with his workouts as he was stuck in his hotel room, forced to train under strict isolation rules.
But after feeling the heat – which reaches up to 41 degrees – during a run, the 27-year-old was happy to carry on his weight cut and tapering down period from indoors.
Diakiese told SunSport: "We are fighters and we adapt, so we had to train in my room and that's what we did.
"I had a skipping rope and did some shadow boxing. I've got a heart rate monitor and checking my calories, as long as I get over 500 calories then I know I've burned a lot.
"You have to work with what you've got. I've got people bringing me water to the room, so it's a bit different. It's all good but the training side is different.
"They have resections; for example we was running and we got to a certain area and we were told to come back.
"No one can get in without being tested in that area so I feel safe.
"This has been the easiest camp. I'm still eating and I've got UFC PR taking care of me, it's probably been one of my easiest weight cuts.
"We have a private room here and we tried going to the beach but we didn't even last 10 minutes, it's that hot.
"And your body just seems to get tired. All this time I've been here I've managed to stay in my room, hit pads and move around."
Diakiese comes into the fight off the back of two wins.
But he was left fighting for his UFC career in London last year, as he matched up against Joe Duffy on a three-fight losing streak.
He was left emotional after outputting Duffy in the capital and has not looked back since.
And he reveals the darkest period in his career has only made him a mentally stronger fighter with lessons learned from setbacks.
Diakiese explained: "I had a lot going on in the background which no one knew around.
"But I knew I needed to fight to work so I kept pushing and tried to figure out what was going wrong.
"I took small examples from other fighters on how they did their camps and figure out why I was losing when I put my absolute all into it.
"It either breaks you or makes you. I had to learn on the job and it either breaks you at that point or makes you stronger.
"It was a mental thing. But I do know now that you have to separate it and have a certain energy to make everything move forward."
Diakiese is just outside of the top 15 ranked lightweight contenders.
But he already has a next opponent in mind – and warns fans he will call them out on the spot should he win on the weekend.
Diakiese said: "I'm ready to take on whatever comes my way.
"I've got one in mind but I'm not going to give it away.
"I've got to take it one at a time. But I'll get this win out of the way and then call him out there and then."
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