PFL’s Tyler Diamond aims to follow up ‘nearly flawless’ performance

Aside from one brief moment, Professional Fighters League featherweight contender Tyler Diamond felt like he did everything right in a decision victory over Sung Bin Jo in April.

He’s hoping that momentum carries into his fight with Brendan Loughnane, scheduled as the opener to the PFL main card Thursday, June 10. The card begins at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

“I give myself a 9.5/10. Only reason I take that half off is I got lazy in the third round and he caught me with a beautiful cross,” Diamond told Fight Night Picks’ John Hyon Ko. “I felt like my fight IQ was on point. I was free flowing. I didn’t force anything.”

Diamond spoke about his growth as a fighter, training with Team Alpha Male and how fatherhood has changed him in a 15-minute interview with JHK.

Diamond’s PFL debut in April signaled the end of an 18-month layoff. During that time, he focused a lot on his fight IQ, which he said was one of his flaws during his appearance on The Ultimate Fighter Season 27, when he lost to Jay Cucciniello.

“I wore myself out,” Diamond said. “You can’t force a finish. You have to find a finish when it’s there. From then until now, I’ve improved leaps and bounds.”

While he felt like he was never given a fair shake in the UFC — his only official fight in the promotion was a decision loss to Bryce Mitchell — Diamond is happy in the PFL. He thinks the format suits his style, and hopes to eventually fight multiple times in a night.

Despite a point format that rewards finishes and a playoff system in which only the top four fighters advance, Diamond is focused purely on winning.

“I’m just going to fight and I’m going to win and let the chips fall where they may,” he said.

Still, an early finish against Loughnane would be welcomed. The two have contrasting body types and have different areas on the feet they excel in, Diamond admitted.

Instead of getting caught up in Loughnane’s film, Diamond said he’ll try to get some early reads he can adjust to and use his fight IQ to capitalize.

“Personally, I’d rather get the fight finished just to mitigate damage,” he said. “The less wars I can get into in my life, the better.”

That sentiment particularly hits close to home now that he has a son.

“The biggest change is I’m more hyper aware of who I am as a man, who I am as a father and as a husband,” Diamond said. “I just want to be the best I can be for them and anyone I come in contact with.”

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