UFC 266: Robbie Lawler win against Nick Diaz who gave it all he had
Robbie Lawler approached a sitting Nick Diaz and grabbed his hands in his. As a symbol of respect, the two pressed their foreheads together.
Lawler and Diaz, two veteran fighters known for their legendary MMA fights, squared up again at UFC 266 on Saturday night. Lawler was victorious through TKO at 44 seconds of the third round, despite the fact that they were both closer to 40 years old than 30.
Lawler, the former UFC welterweight champion, hit a combination that ended with Diaz being knocked out by a strong right hand to the nose. Diaz shook his head when referee Jason Herzog asked if he wanted to continue. The fight was called off by Herzog.
In his postfight interview, Lawler commented, “That’s what I expected,” “I anticipated him to attempt to break me by pushing the pace. And I wasn’t going to allow him.”
Diaz, a cult hero among fans, had not fought since losing a majority decision to Anderson Silva at UFC 183 on Jan. 31, 2015, a fight that was ultimately overturned to a no contest when Silva tested positive for a steroid and Diaz tested positive for cannabis.
Diaz voiced resentment against MMA and stated he wasn’t sure why he was competing in an interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto earlier this week. As a result, several in the MMA community questioned whether Diaz should be competing. But once inside the Octagon, he demonstrated that he was ready to fight, landing long combinations and his normal volume, albeit at a slower pace than usual.
“I’ve always had respect for Diaz,” Lawler stated. “Every freakin’ time he gets into the ring, he brings it.” He came to fight and put on a great performance.”
Diaz was then seen with a cloth over his nose, which was bleeding.
Diaz admitted, “I knew I was leaking in here,” “I didn’t want to make too much of a mess,” she explained.
This was a rematch of the two men’s 2004 bout, in which Diaz knocked Lawler out in the second round at UFC 47. Saturday’s clash was contested at middleweight, a move made at Diaz’s request during fight week, and was scheduled for five rounds, which is unusual for non-title, non-main event contests.
Diaz said, “At least I put on a show,” “I had a feeling it was going to happen to me. There was a lot of anxiety surrounding this one.”
The first two rounds were quite tight. In the opening round, Diaz landed a slew of combos. In the second and third rounds, Lawler replied with harsher blows. According to UFC Stats, Diaz landed more meaningful strikes, 150-131. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Diaz is only the 12th competitor in UFC history to land 150 significant strikes in a loss, and all of the other fights lasted longer than this one against Lawler.
Diaz (26-10, 2 NC) was searching for his first win since beating BJ Penn at UFC 137 in 2011. Former Strikeforce welterweight champion, the Stockton, California native has three title defenses before joining the UFC for his second stint with the organization. Diaz, 38, is the older brother of Nate Diaz, another UFC fighter who is one of the most popular on the roster.
Lawler (29-15, 1 NC) was coming off a four-fight losing streak and hadn’t won since a unanimous decision victory over Donald Cerrone at UFC 214 in July 2017. From 2014 through 2016, the Florida native held the UFC welterweight belt, which he successfully defended twice. Lawler, 39, has been a professional fighter since 2001 and is a former Elite Xtreme Combat middleweight champion.