The non-title five-round event of UFC 266 will feature a middleweight fight between Nick Diaz (26-9-2 NC MMA, 7-6-1 NC UFC) and Robbie Lawler (28-15-1 NC MMA, 13-9 UFC). UFC 266: Volkanovski vs. Ortega airs live from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada this Saturday, September 25th. The main card will start with a fight time of 10:00 p.m. ET/7.00 p.m. PT, with the ESPN+ prelims beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT and the early prelims kicking off at 6:00 p.m. ET/3:00 p.m. PT.
How do these two stack up?
Diaz: 38 years old | 6’1” | 76” reach
Lawler: 39 years old | 5’11” | 74” reach
What have these two done recently?
Diaz: NC – Anderson Silva (NC) | L – Georges St-Pierre (DEC) | L – Carlos Condit (DEC)
Lawler: L – Neil Magny (DEC) | L – Colby Covington (DEC) | L – Ben Askren (SUB)
How did these two get here?
Diaz has not fought in almost seven years, but there are a few reasons for that. Following his unanimous decision loss (overturned to a No Contest) to Anderson Silva at UFC 183, he failed a post-fight drug test for marijuana metabolites that resulted in a five-year suspension by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC). The suspension was appealed by Diaz, who had it reduced to 18 months and was eligible to fight again in late 2016. He was then sanctioned by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) for failing to report his whereabouts and missing three out-of-competition drug tests between 2016 and 2017 and accepted a one-year suspension. He was eligible to fight again in 2018. Diaz did not immediately fight, but teased his return on several occasions before it became official for UFC 266.
Lawler has been through a tough stretch after losing the welterweight championship to Tyron Woodley at UFC 201. ‘Ruthless’ returned to the win column with a unanimous decision over Donald Cerrone at UFC 214, but has not won a fight since then. Lawler has dropped his last four to Rafael Dos Anjos, Ben Askren, Colby Covington and Neil Magny. He has a chance to not only snap his career-worst four-fight losing streak but also avenge the loss to Diaz that happened over 17 years ago.
Why should you care?
Diaz and Lawler have looked like completely different fighters in recent appearances, so their second meeting is bound to be as interesting as their first meeting.
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