Per MMA reporter Ariel Helwani, the five-round feature bout between Nick Diaz and Robbie Lawler at UFC 266 will now take place at middleweight, not welterweight. There was no reason provided behind the change.
[FIGHT CONFIRMATION PUBLISHED JULY 13, 2021, 11:00 PM]
Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports has reported Nick Diaz vs. Robbie Lawler 2 is now official for UFC 266 on September 25.
“DONE DEAL: Nick Diaz vs Robbie Lawler, five rounder, Sept. 25, UFC 266 per Dana White.”
It appears fight fans could be getting the long-awaited rematch between Nick Diaz and Robbie Lawler.
There has been much talk about a return to action for Diaz. Back in 2020, footage appeared of Diaz, who looked to be in fighting shape. His manager, Kevin Mubenga, said Diaz did a test weight cut in order to see how his body would react. Mubenba noted that the Stockton native was planning a comeback in 2021.
In the months that followed, UFC President Dana White went back-and-forth on whether or not he was optimistic about Diaz following through on his return plans. Diaz’s team has insisted that he will be fighting again.
Aaron Bronsteter has taken to his Twitter account to reveal that White says Diaz vs. Lawler 2 is being worked on.
“BREAKING: Nick Diaz vs. Robbie Lawler IN THE WORKS (not yet official) as a co-main for an event in September per Dana White.”
Ariel Helwani followed up on this, reporting that Diaz vs. Lawler 2 is being discussed for the co-main event of UFC 266.
Back in April 2004, Diaz and Lawler did battle at UFC 47. Diaz scored a second-round knockout victory. Many argue that it was Diaz’s most memorable moment under the UFC banner.
In the years that followed, both men were able to win world titles. Diaz became the Strikeforce Welterweight Champion, while Lawler eventually captured the UFC Welterweight Title.
Diaz has not competed since January 2015 when he took on Anderson Silva. The fight initially resulted in a unanimous decision victory for Silva. That result was changed to a No Contest after “The Spider” tested positive for banned substances. Diaz was also banned by the NSAC for five years due to marijuana use but that sanction was quickly reduced following massive backlash from fans and media members.
As for Lawler, he hasn’t been in action since August 2020. He is on a four-fight skid. “Ruthless” hasn’t won a bout since July 2017.