Lawler and Diaz will mix it up again this Saturday night (Sept. 25). They’ll collide in a five-round welterweight bout on the main card of UFC 266. The two had their first scrap back in April 2004. Diaz won the bout via second-round knockout.
During an interview with FanSided, Lawler said that while a rematch with Diaz motivates him, it wasn’t a bout that he was begging for.
“I didn’t really think of it at all really. It just came when I came I wasn’t out there looking for it.
“I think the UFC probably wanted it and I have no idea actually because I don’t really play those games. It’s like alright, usually they come to me, ‘let’s fight’ so could have been a conversation between my manager, and then who knows but obviously it’s a big fight and definitely one that gets me training hard.”
Lawler went on to say that he played things by ear when he was first offered the fight.
“It was one of those things where they offered me the fight, my manager told me about and I’m like, ‘Okay, I guess we’ll see if it happens’ and just, week after week they’re like okay it looks like it’s gonna happen so you never know with Nick and obviously there’s been talk of him fighting in the past so just obviously a big opportunity to fight a big name. A lot of fans are excited.”
For Lawler, this fight goes beyond seeking revenge. The 39-year-old is on a four-fight skid. He hasn’t won a bout since July 2017.
Diaz hasn’t competed inside the Octagon since Jan. 2015. He initially suffered a unanimous decision loss to Anderson Silva. That result was changed to a No Contest after Silva tested positive for banned substances.