Daniel Hooker set to fight Marc Diakiese at UFC 219 in Las Vegas

New Zealand’s Daniel Hooker will make his second straight appearance in the lightweight division as he takes on the highly touted English prospect Marc Diakiese.

First reported by Newshub.co.nz, the contest will take place at UFC 219 on December 31 (AEST) in Las Vegas.

Hooker (14-7 MMA, 4-3 UFC) recently earned “Performance of the Night” honours with a knockout victory over Ross Pearson in Auckland last June. The 27-year-old Kiwi left his hometown crowed stunned as he knocked out the British veteran with a perfectly timed knee in the second round.

It appears ‘The Hangman’ is being further rewarded for his efforts with the opportunity to fight under the bright lights of Las Vegas for the first time.

Official fight announcement! Dan Hooker vs Marc Diakiese UFC 219, December 30, Las Vegas. #ufc219 #vegas #ufc

A post shared by Dan "Hangman" Hooker (@danhangman) on

Hooker has traded wins and losses since entering the UFC in 2014. He was signed by the promotion as the reigning AFC lightweight champion but was forced to drop to featherweight in order to make his debut. He returned to his traditional weight class against Pearson and looked like a far healthier fighter. He will look to earn his first pair of back-to-back victories in the UFC when he takes on Diakiese.

Diakiese (12-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) is considered one of the top prospects fighting out of Europe. The former BAMMA lightweight champion joined the UFC in October of last year and went to win three straight in the organisation before suffering his first career loss to Drakkar Klose.

Pictured: Marc Diakiese (Source Kyle Terada-USA TODAY)

The 24-year-old was born in Congo but now fights out of Manchester, England. He is an extremely fast and powerful fighter with six knockout victories on his record, five of these in the first round.

The contest between the two promises to be an action-packed affair with neither fighter one to take a backward step.

While no main event has yet been announced for UFC 219, former bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz is set to make his first return to the octagon since losing his title.

Former interim-title holder Carlos Condit is also making his return to the cage after a extended hiatus and former Glory light-heavyweight champion Gökhan Saki will be making his second UFC appearance on the card.

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James Averis
James Averis is a Sydney based contributor for Fight News Australia.