Ulysses Diaz, known to friends and family as Uly, made history at Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship 14 late last year when he recorded the fastest knockout in combat sports history with a one-punch KO win over Donelei Benedetto, just three seconds into the contest.
Initially marked at 5-seconds in the record books, the time was eventually re-evaluated and corrected, putting Diaz's bare knuckle fighting win at the top of the list for fastest knockout finishes in all combat sports.
Don't blink! The fastest KO in combat sports was recorded on Friday, November 13th, 2020 at BKFC 14!
Diaz's life has seen many changes since the win, including ones that he never saw coming.
"It's been amazing," Diaz said. "Immediate notoriety all around the world. I even got back in contact with my biological father," he continued with elation in his voice.
Diaz said that prior to the fight he had not spoken to his real father in close to five years. The reason for their falling out stemmed from a past life that Uly "Monster" used to live which included a two-year prison sentence.
Diaz's father lives in Los Angeles, California, but works as a journalist for a newspaper in the European country of Spain.
"News of the knockout reached Spain and was published in the newspaper that he writes for," Diaz said.
That's when someone who also works for the paper reached out to Diaz's father back stateside and said, "I think this is your son."
"We got back into contact and we have a great relationship now," Diaz reflected.
While Diaz may get recognized out in his hometown of Miami, Florida, as well as many parts around the globe, to include getting his checkmark verification on Instagram, it was the recent connection with his father that tops his list of accomplishments.
"It cemented me in combat sports history," Diaz said. "No matter what you do in life, you are always looking for that moment, and that was my moment. There was a lot of work behind those three seconds, believe it or not. It was during the COVID pandemic year, things were crazy, but it was an amazing moment for me, and I'm still living it up."
On the heels of the biggest win of his career, Diaz now has yet another opportunity to shine as he will meet former UFC welterweight title contender Thiago "Pitbull" Alves at BKFC 18 for the vacant BKFC Middleweight World Title.
Alves made his successful BKFC debut in the main event on September 11, 2020 at BKFC 12 taking a hard-fought decision over Julian Lane.
"I'm not surprised at all," Diaz said of the booking against Alves. "I think this is a great fight. This is the fight that the people want. He's a legend in the fighting game, I've cemented my name in the fighting game, particularly in bare knuckle. I feel like the day I beat him (Alves), June 26, two weeks from tomorrow, is the day I become a legend. I'll be in the record books once again for being the first champion at 175-pounds, and doing it by beating a legend in combat sports."
Alves and Diaz have never trained together but have seen each other at live events, and are also both managed by Malki Kawa at First Round Management. Other than being managed under the same roof, the two men have no real history with one another.
Both Alves and Diaz have professional mixed martial arts bouts under their belts but it is obviously Alves who has more experience than "The Monster" does when it comes to the craft. Diaz seems to have recognized that bare knuckle is more his style, even though he did record a win in MMA under the Titan FC banner.
"I think I found my home in bare knuckle," Diaz said. "This is my roots. As a kid fighting got me in a ton of trouble. As a young adult it got me sent to prison fighting bare knuckle on the street. Now here I am, come full circle, I'm getting paid and have some notoriety and living a great life because of BKFC and bare knuckle fighting."
With the global pandemic coming to a close and venues starting to allow larger crowds back into their arenas, Diaz believes he will be the star of BKFC 18 on June 26.
"I'm bringing the whole crowd," Diaz said. "You can expect everyone there to be there for me. Even if they come to see other fighters, they are there for me also. You can count on that. You can take that to the bank. When I walk out for my fight, remember this... you are going to hear a bigger roar than you do for any other fighter there. I'm not trying to be conceded. I'm born and raised in this city. I know a lot of people. They know my story, where I've come from, where I'm at today. I have the love and support from everybody and I love and support everyone and I'm thankful for it all. Even the haters, it comes with the territory. You are going to hear a roar coming from that crowd and that is going to gas up the 'Monster' when I walk into the ring and make history on that night."
BKFC 18 takes place Saturday, June 26 at the Hardrock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
More on BKFC 18
In the heavyweight division, BKFC World Champion ‘The Mexicutioner’ Joey Beltran, (4-1-1, 2 KOs), fighting out of Carlsbad, CA will make the second defense of his title against Sam ‘The Hillbilly Hammer’ Shewmaker, (4-1-1, 3 KOs), of Gravois Mills, MO. Beltran returns to action in the squared circle following a fourth round knockout of Marcel Stamps at BKFC-13 in Salina, KS while Shewmaker made a lasting impression with the BKFC faithful stopping veteran Bobo O’Bannon in the first round on December 11, 2020 at BKFC-15 in Biloxi, MS.
Competing for the vacant BKFC Cruiserweight World Title, South Florida fan favorite, Hector ‘Showeather’ Lombard, (2-0, 1 KO), of Miami, FL clashes with ‘Diesel’ Joe Riggs, (3-0-1), fighting out of Phoenix, AZ. Lombard earned his entry into the world title fight with a first-round stoppage of Kendall Grove on September 11, 2020 in Daytona Beach, FL. Riggs seeks worldwide glory against Lombard and looks to stay undefeated following a hotly contested draw at BKFC-6 against Walber Barros.
In the featherweight division, Miami warrior Luis ‘Baboon’ Palomino, (3-0, 2 KOs), faces Great Britain villain and the country’s bare-knuckle champion, Tyler ‘The Tornado’ Goodjohn, (1-0) for the BKFC World Title. With bad blood stemming from an in-ring altercation between the two after Palomino stopped Jim Alers at BKFC-14 in Miami, BKFC fans have anticipated this confrontation for the last eight months. In an outstanding all-action battle, Goodjohn made his triumphant US debut with a unanimous decision over Charles Bennett on December 11, 2020 at BKFC-15 in Biloxi, MS.