Nick Diaz makes his octagon return to take on Robbie Lawler in an exciting welterweight rematch at UFC 266.
Diaz and Lawler first met each other in the octagon 17 years ago. And things have changed a lot since then.
Robbie Lawler became the UFC welterweight champion and had a good run. But, right now he is on a decline with four consecutive losses in the division.
On the other hand, Nick Diaz is coming off a 6-year long layoff following his suspension. So the rematch is unlikely to play out like the first fight.
in the UFC 266 countdown video, talking about how he has improved since the loss to Nick Diaz, Robbie Lawler stated:
“One of the ways that I have improved since the first fight is I’m more measured. I don’t get emotional when I get hit with a shot. I’m more like why did I get hit with that shot. It’s more like a chess match and just kind of being smart. Obviously, there’s a little bit of fierceness to this chess match. But I am definitely fined tuned.”
Nick Diaz puts Robbie Lawler on notice
However, Nick Diaz is not too convinced that Lawler has made significant changes to his game since the first encounter. Nick Diaz claims that he has become a lot better since the first fight against Lawler as he said:
“I don’t think he’s gotten much better than he was when I fought him the first time. But I’m a lot better than when I fought him the first time. I can see things coming a lot better than I could then. He’s gonna have to dig deep and catch me with a shot.”
Robbie Lawler has certainly grown a lot as a fighter since the first fight against Diaz. However, Lawler certainly does not have the ferociousness that he once had. In his last few fights, he has been unusually patient with his offense and as a result getting dominated by top welterweights such as Colby Covington, Neil Magny.
On the other hand, it’s hard to predict how Nick Diaz is going to look at UFC 266. He does seem in good shape but he has been inactive for a really long time. And that will be the biggest factor going into the rematch.
Who do you think will get victorious at UFC 266?