More than 17 years after they met for the first time, Nick Diaz and Robbie Lawler will fight again in a five-round bout at UFC 266 on Sept. 25, UFC president Dana White told Yahoo Sports.
Diaz will be ending a more than six-year retirement to fight Lawler, whom he knocked out in the second round in Las Vegas at UFC 47 on April 2, 2004.
The mercurial Diaz hasn’t fought since a bout against Anderson Silva at UFC 183 on Jan. 31, 2015. Silva was announced as the winner of that fight, but failed the post-fight drug test and the result was changed to a no-contest.
Despite his inactivity, Diaz remains one of the most popular fighters in the world. Whenever there was even a hint that he may return to action, there was always a buzz among MMA fans.
The older brother of UFC star Nate Diaz, Nick Diaz will be 38 when the fight is held. He is 26-9 with two no-contests and has notable wins over Lawler, B.J. Penn and Paul Daley, among others.
Lawler, 39, is a former UFC welterweight champion, but he’s on a four-fight losing streak and has dropped five of his last six. He hasn’t fought since being beaten by Neil Magny on Aug. 29, 2020.
Lawler won the UFC welterweight title at UFC 181 when he defeated Johny Hendricks, then successfully defended it against Rory MacDonald and Carlos Condit before losing it when he was knocked out by Tyron Woodley at UFC 201 on July 30, 2016.
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