MARC DIAKIESE insists he hasn’t scratched the surface of his potential and firmly believes his best is yet to come.
The Congolese-born Brit celebrated the seventh anniversary of his UFC debut against Lukasz Sajewski last month.
Diakiese fell on hard times following a rip-roaring start to life in MMA‘s top promotion, going on a three-fight skid after winning his first three on the bounce.
The Doncaster destroyer has failed to put together a consistent run of the early form that had many believing he’d gatecrash the lightweight top 15.
Diakiese, 30, has gone 4-4 in his last eight but hasn’t given up hope of putting it all together and eventually mixing it with the division’s elite.
He told SunSport: “I still feel like my prime is still prime is yet to come.
“This [chapter of my career] about me reaching my [full] potential of my own skills.
“I feel like now is the time, I’ve taken losses, I’ve taken wins.
“I’m 30 years old. Some people don’t even get to the UFC by the time they’re 30 or 34 years old.
“And I’ve been here for a long time.
“And I’m still in there. A lot of the people I started with, they’re not even here anymore.
“They’re finished and I’m still here. So that tells you something.”
Diakiese draws inspiration from the current crop of veterans finding success later in their careers.
He said: “I watch some of the fighters like Bobby Green and a lot of them who have taken a lot of losses, now they’re building up.
“I think he’s 37. Whereas I’m just reaching the age of 30 where I can start building up properly.
“Build my man strength I’m ready.”
Diakiese will hope to start “building up” again tonight on the UFC Sao Paulo prelims against former LFA star Kaue Fernandes.
Fernandes enters the octagon debut on a two-fight win streak, although his body of work has done little to impress Diakiese.
He said of the Brazilian: “I know he’s got a couple of wins.
“But when you look at the wins and who he’s beaten and the experience [it’s not that impressive].
“I look at it differently to what outsiders or non-full-time MMA fans look at it.”
Despite the pressure to get back to winning ways after two losses on the bounce, Diakiese won’t be content with anything less than a spectacular return to the win column.
“I’m trying to get a finish here,” he said. “I’m looking for a finish. A knockout, whatever I can get.