UFC 266 is coming up fast on September 25th and with it comes the return of Nick Diaz.
The elder Diaz brother hasn’t fought since a unanimous decision loss to Anderson Silva in 2015 — later changed to a No Contest after Silva tested positive for PEDs. “The Spider” wasn’t the only one to fail a drug test. Diaz also tested positive for marijuana metabolites and had the Nevada Athletic Commission throw the book at him, issuing a five year suspension and $165,000 fine.
One year of legal wrangling later, and the state shrunk that suspension to a much more reasonable 18 months. But still Nick did not return. As the story goes, Ronda Rousey got him into drinking, which led to Nick making up for years of clean living and training with five years of hard partying.
COVID-19 closed the clubs and got Nick back into serious training, and now he’s come to terms with the UFC for a return fight against Robbie Lawler in a rematch of their 2004 classic. Aside from occasional videos on his social media, we haven’t heard too much from Nick, which isn’t too surprising. But in a new clip from the upcoming UFC 266 Countdown show, Nick sounds supremely confident in his comeback chances.
“I’m actually way more of a dangerous fighter than I was when I fought Robbie Lawler the first time,” Diaz said. “I’m going to be really unstoppable having made the right decisions. I’m going to beat Robbie again.”
Robbie Lawler has been on a rough 1-4 skid since losing the UFC welterweight title to Tyron Woodley in 2016 but all his losses come to tough as nails opponents: Rafael dos Anjos, Colby Covington, Neil Magny. And then there was that bogus stoppage in the Ben Askren fight. Lawler looked ridiculously dangerous in the early moments of that fight, and everyone’s hoping we’ll see a similar fire under “Ruthless” as he faces a re-energized and re-focused Diaz.
UFC 266 goes down from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada and is headlined by a featherweight title fight between champ Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega. In the co-main, Valentina Shevchenko defends her women’s flyweight title against Lauren Murphy. Add in Diaz vs. Lawler 2 and we got a pretty sweet pay-per-view on the horizon.