FIGHTLAND

A Fighter Weighed In Holding the Guitar Pantera Made Famous

A strange guitar for a strange pre-fight custom.

by Jeff Harder
Jan 8 2016, 6:34pm

Weigh-ins before MMA fights usually look like absurdist fashion shows anyway: Semi-delirious fighters expose their gaunt and temporarily dehydrated bodies partly as an administrative obligation, partly as an advertisement for themselves. But sometimes, if we're lucky, weigh-ins are venues for displays of the truly ridiculous.

In 1999, back when whichever side of the 200-pound demarcation line a UFC fighter fell decided whether he was a lightweight or a heavyweight, a fully clothed Frank Shamrock barely reached 198 pounds when he weighed in to fight Tito Ortiz; when he stepped off the scale, he took a book out of his back pocket. At a Hero's event in 2007, a track suit-clad Kazushi Sakuraba initially missed his weight limit, then he pulled out the Xbox 360 console he was hiding underneath. And, of course, there's the Tom Lawlor of the pre-Reebox-era, whose scripted pieces of performance art paid tribute to the Just Bleed guy and Dan Severn.

But yesterday afternoon, we broke new ground in the world of weigh-ins curiosities: a fighter stepped on the scale holding the most shred-worthy guitar you could ever hold.

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Weigh ins were interesting CES MMA
Posted by Josh"Trainn"Diekmann on Thursday, January 7, 2016

The 239-pound fighter being implored by officials to take the guitar off is Josh Diekmann. He's a brawling heavyweight and Bellator MMA vet who's been around the block through more than a decade in the sport, and tonight, the Connecticut-based fighter fights his 23rd professional bout against Ashley Gooch at CES MMA XXXII at Rhode Island's Twin River Casino.

The guitar in question is a Dean ML, a 24-fret model with a body that's a mutant crossbreed between a Flying V and an Explorer. To put it mildly, the guitar had a niche audience of players after its introduction in the 1970s, probably due to the fact that it looks more like a weapon than an instrument. But the Dean ML enjoyed a second act in the hands "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, the pink-bearded riff-slinger for Pantera, the greatest metal band of all time. Until his infamous on-stage murder in 2004, the Dean ML was Abbott's ax of choice, a suitable vehicle for the chunky palm-muting, slippery blues-based licks, and artful noise on Pantera's 1990s gems Vulgar Display of Power and Far Beyond Driven.

Diekmann's guitar is more restrained than Darrell's. The sunburst finish is a classier choice than Dimebag's signature graphics depicting lightning bolts, pot leaves, and—as a cringe-worthy homage to Pantera's southern heritage—Confederate flags. There's no whammy bar. But the guitar isn't for decoration: before weighing in, Diekmann put it to good use.

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Pre weigh in zen. Trainn getting his groove back. Come to the weigh ins at Twin River Casino in RI at 4!
Posted by Josh"Trainn"Diekmann on Thursday, January 7, 2016

Tagged:
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GUITAR
Pantera
weigh in
josh diekmann