On the main card of UFC 266, we saw a rematch that was 17 years in the making. Nick Diaz (26-9, 2 NC) was making his highly anticipated return as he met former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler (28-15, 1 NC).
These two first fought all the way back at UFC 47 in 2004. When they first fought, Lawler was the pretty big betting favorite especially if the fight stayed on the feet. However, that night, Nick Diaz showed the world how good he was when he knocked out Lawler on the feet.
Both men went on to have incredible careers. Nick Diaz walked away from the UFC and MMA back in 2015 after a failed post-fight drug test for marijuana saw him get suspended. Diaz has lost his last two fights but those came against Anderson Silva and Georges St. Pierre.
It’s clear that Robbie Lawler is near the end of his career. The former UFC welterweight champion has lost four fights in a row leading into UFC 266. In his last two fights, he really couldn’t get anything going against Neil Magny or Colby Covington.
UFC 266 Recap
The talking starts immediately from Nick Diaz as the UFC 266 middleweight contest kicks off. Immediately pressure from Lawler and he’s landing big shots on Diaz early. Diaz is looking slow here and Lawler is ripping him to the body.
Nice 1-2 lands for Robbie Lawler. Good hook to the body lands for Diaz and Lawler answers. Good 1-2 lands for Nick Diaz and then he lands a body kick. Two good straight shots land for Diaz. Another good rip to the body for Diaz.
Nice left hook lands for Lawler. 1-2 from Diaz finds it’s home again. Now it’s Diaz pushing forward but he lands a good shot from Lawler. Diaz is mixing speeds really well and he’s clipping Lawler.
Lots of volume from Diaz. Huge shot to the body for Diaz and Lawler is returning much. Another good shot to the body lands for Lawler and Diaz responds with a big combination.
Lawler has Diaz against the fence but Diaz appears to be using it to counter. Nice combinations from Diaz and these two are just boxing. Big moments for both, but I lean towards Nick Diaz based on the second half of the round at UFC 266.
Entering the second round at UFC 266 and both can’t wait to get back at it. Lawler starts with pressure immediately and Diaz welcomes it. Good shot to the body lands for Diaz and Lawler responds with a counter.
Good combination lands for Nick Diaz, but a big body kick lands for Lawler and that seemed to hurt Diaz. Pressure from Lawler but Diaz goes right back to work with the boxing combinations.
Both men trade jabs and Lawler is chasing Diaz here. Diaz is landing his short shots and Lawler comes over the top. Another good combination from Diaz who is just constantly throwing.
Nice left hand lands for Robbie Lawler. Diaz gets some space and throws a little more power on a combination as Lawler comes in. More pressure from Lawler who rips to the body.
Robbie Lawler is landing very well near the end of the second round. Body kick lands for Diaz and Lawler counters with a big hook to the body. Big combination and Lawler comes forward to end the round. Great second round from Lawler at UFC 266.
This fight is all squared on my scorecard at UFC 266 after two. Lawler starts the third round with immediate pressure just like he has the entire fight. Diaz opens the striking with a few nice shots to the body.
Lawler counters with a combination, but Diaz counters well. A few big shots land for Lawler and Diaz drops to one knee. It appears that Diaz might’ve hurt his knee but Lawler hurt him. Lawler backs away and Diaz doesn’t get up. The fight is called and Lawler gets the win.
Robbie Lawler def. Nick Diaz by TKO – Round 3