Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) recently filmed behind-the-scenes footage of Nick Diaz — later shared by European broadcast partner BT Sport — featuring the former Strikeforce welterweight champion warming up for his UFC 266 photo shoot.
The 11-second clip was supposed to get combat sports fans amped for his middleweight rematch against Robbie Lawler, which takes place on the UFC 266 pay-per-view (PPV) main card this Sat. night (Sept. 25, 2021) inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Instead, it blew the wheels off the Diaz war wagon.
Representatives at BetOnline.ag today confirmed that in the hours after the shadowboxing clip went viral, Diaz fell from even odds to a +130 betting underdog, meaning late money came in fast and furious on the power-punching Lawler.
I’m sure these comments only exacerbated the situation.
Lackadaisical shadowboxing is nothing new from Diaz, who usually just throws hands to get his blood pumping. But as we’ve seen in the past, slow and lethargic strikes from aging, inactive fighters can be indicative of things to come.
“Do I feel confident? I never do. I never have. I always feel like I’m going to get trashed out there, every fight I’ve ever done,” Diaz told ESPN. “How do you feel against Robbie Lawler? I feel like I’m going to get the shit beat out of me. And even when I win, I get beat up worse.”
He wasn’t beat up too badly when he stopped Lawler at UFC 47 way back in 2004.
Diaz (26-9, 2 NC), who turned 38 just a few weeks back, hasn’t won a fight in nearly a decade and spent the last six years on vacation. As for the 28-15 (1 NC) Lawler, now 39, he’s coming off four straight losses and hasn’t seen action since falling to Neil Magny in summer 2020.
We still have two days to go before Diaz and Lawler step foot inside the cage and we haven’t even gotten through weigh ins, so there’s a solid chance the money line could shift in either direction between now and fight night.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 266 fight card RIGHT HERE, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches at 6 p.m. ET, followed by the remaining undercard balance on ESPNN and ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC 266: “Volkanovski vs. Ortega” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here. For the entire UFC 266 fight card and PPV line up click here.