Nick Diaz finally appears to have a match-up in the works for his long awaited comeback, and it seems the UFC have settled on having him rematch another much-loved veteran of the sport, Robbie Lawler.
It was some 17 years ago that these two were last locked in the Octagon together at a time when they were both hot prospects in the UFC ranks.
Diaz had come into the fight wielding an 8-2 record after submitting Jeremy Jackson in his UFC debut, while Lawler was 8-1 and had more experience in the promotion, having won four of his five fights and already demonstrated his fearsome knockout power.
However, it was Diaz who would go on to hand Lawler his first ever KO loss, a feat that wouldn’t be replicated again for another 12 years until ‘Ruthless’ was flatlined by Tyron Woodley.
Over the years Diaz and Lawler’s career’s followed a remarkably similar path as they would both leave the UFC somewhat prematurely, and then ended up as two of the biggest draws in promotions like Elite XC (where Lawler would become the defending middleweight champion) and then later Strikeforce (where Diaz would reign as the welterweight king).
Eventually they returned to the UFC, where Lawler enjoyed major success for a time, dropping down to welterweight and going on a five fight winning streak that would including winning the 170lb title and successfully defending it twice.
Meanwhile, Diaz was a big draw and firm fan favorite upon his return, which helped him to two 170lb title shots, but he actually only fought four times and won once before taking an extended hiatus starting in 2015 that he’s only now returning from at 37-years-old.
While the rematch between the two is not official yet, the word is that the UFC is planning to have Diaz vs. Lawler II serve as the co-main event for UFC 266 on September 25th.