UFC 266 is coming up fast on Sept. 25, 2021, 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 performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). “The Spider” wasn’t the only one to fail a drug test. Diaz also tested positive for marijuana metabolites and had 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 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 UFC’s 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 inside 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 (PPV) on the horizon.
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