One of the most popular MMA fighters of all time, Nick Diaz makes his octagon return on UFC 266. And he takes on the former welterweight champion, Robbie Lawler in a much-anticipated rematch.
It’s been 17 years since these two MMA legends faced each other inside the cage. And now after over 6 years of inactivity, Nick Diaz has finally decided to step into the octagon one more time.
Going into the first fight the Robbie Lawler was the favorite to beat Nick Diaz. Lawler was delivering impressive knockouts prior to the fight against Diaz and many fans believed Nick would face a similar fate.
Even Nick Diaz admitted in the UFC 266 countdown video that he was concerned about Robbie Lawler’s knockout power. Diaz stated:
“So the thing is with Robbie it kind of freaked me out, he knocked out Steve Berger, Tiki Ghosn in and he knocked these guys out, man. It was like there is no way I was going to win and everybody was like oh you’re fighting Robbie Lawler.”
However, the outcome of the fight was certainly unexpected as Nick Diaz handed Lawler the first knock-out loss of his career. Talking about the fight, Diaz stated: “So when I went out there I just did what I knew and I spooked him.”
How is Nick Diaz vs Robbie Lawler 2 different from the first fight?
Following the loss to Nick Diaz, Robbie Lawler went on to do some incredible things in UFC. He won the welterweight title and beat some of the best fighters at the time such as Carlos Condit, Rory McDonald, Johny Hendricks and more.
However, Lawler is not in his prime anymore. He has lost his last four fights. And he got dominated by current top welterweights such as Colby Covington and Neil Magny.
The last time Lawler secured a KO/TKO victory was in 2015. So even though Lawler is still dangerous with his striking he is not the same guy who became the UFC champion.
On the other hand, though Nick Diaz looks in great shape he has not fought since 2015. And though he lost his last three fights it was against elite UFC fighters such as GSP and Anderson Silva.
Though fans should expect fireworks from the Diaz vs Lawler rematch at UFC 266 there is a possibility that this fight won’t be as good as it is advertised.
However, just an opportunity to watch two pioneers of the sport compete once again is quite entertaining for the fans.