“I was born in Berrien Springs, Michigan and from a young age was obsessed with martial arts, especially the striking arts.
“Once my father put me into kickboxing, I had a dream of becoming a professional fighter when I was older. And the type of person that I am, when I have a goal, I always see it through.”
Diop now trains in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with the Hard Knocks 365 team under coach Henri Hooft. Former head striking coach of the Blackzilians MMA team (now defunct), Hooft is from Holland was a competitive kickboxer himself before going into coaching.
Hard Knocks is home to numerous UFC fighters including Michael ‘The Menace’ Johnson and Nik Lentz. Hooft has also previously coached Rashad Evans, Vitor Belfort, Anthony Johnson, Tyrone Spong and more.