UFC welterweight Robbie Lawler will be the betting favorite when he welcomes fan-favorite Nick Diaz back to action at UFC 266.
The odds come after the UFC confirmed the return of Diaz earlier this week. Having not competed since his headlining fight against Anderson Silva in 2015, which saw the Brazilian’s unanimous decision victory overturned to a no contest, Diaz will be attempting to secure his first win in just shy of a decade.
Given his six-year hiatus from the Octagon, it’s understandable that Diaz sits as the betting underdog for his rematch with Lawler, who’s fought eight times since we last saw the Stockton-born fighter in action. But with the former UFC Welterweight Champion struggling to a 3-5 record in that period, Diaz will no doubt fancy his chances at having his arm raised when the pair collide inside Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena.
In odds posted by online sportsbook Fan Duel, Lawler, who will be riding a four-fight losing streak into the pay-per-view, has jumped to -135 as the early betting favorite. Punters predicting a successful homecoming for Diaz will do so with the Californian a +115 underdog. But with over two months until the pair stand face-to-face once again, expect that line to fluctuate.
As fans gear up for Nick Diaz’s return to action on September 25, many will be heading to the archives to remind themselves of the memorable career of the Stockton native and of his first meeting with Lawler back at UFC 47 in 2004.
In what was a crazy fight for as long as it lasted, both men swung hard and left everything inside the Octagon. But not long into the second round, it was Diaz who secured victory with a brutal right hand that sent “Ruthless” face-first into the canvas. The former Strikeforce, WEC, and IFC 170-pound champ will hope to repeat that result when he enters the cage with Lawler for the second time later this year.
The card will be headlined by a blockbuster grudge match for the featherweight belt between The Ultimate Fighter coaches Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega. In another championship bout set for the event, dominant flyweight queen Valentina Shevchenko will look to defend her 125-pound title for the fifth time when she faces “Lucky” Lauren Murphy.
Who do you think comes out on top at UFC 266, Nick Diaz or Robbie Lawler?