It doesn’t look like Nick Diaz has lost confidence after more than six years without a fight.
Diaz (26-9 MMA, 7-6 UFC), a former Strikeforce champion and big fan favorite, is set to return to the Octagon for the first time since January 2015 later this month when he takes on Robbie Lawler ( 28-15 MMA, 13-9 UFC) in the featured bout of UFC 266.
For many years there was a strong belief that Diaz would never return. He seemed to enjoy his life outside of competition, but he is now set to return to the activity for which he is best known as he pursues his first victory since defeating BJ Penn to a decision at the UFC 137 in October 2011.
Much of Diaz’s preparation for UFC 266 took place in the shadows, as he posted virtually no training streaks and even less media coverage.
As the September 25 event, which takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and airs on pay-per-view after preliminaries on ESPNNews and ESPN +, draws closer, however, Diaz can’t avoid the spotlight. .
The promotion posted a clip from their upcoming “UFC Countdown” show, and Diaz briefly commented on how well prepared and “dangerous” he felt before his second meeting with Lawler. He won the first meeting by knockout in the second round at UFC 47 in April 2004.
“I’m actually a lot more of a dangerous fighter than when I first fought Robbie Lawler,” Diaz said. “I’m going to be really unstoppable after making the right decisions. “
– UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) September 11, 2021
Lawler told MMA Junkie on Wednesday that he did not expect Diaz’s skills to decline despite the long hiatus. He expects Diaz to “try to beat me” on fight night, and there’s no denying that that will be his game plan.
The rematch between Diaz, 38, and Lawler, 39, will be the second fighter in UFC history to be scheduled over five rounds when it is neither a main event nor a major event. a title fight. It remains to be seen how 25 minutes versus the 15 standard factors of the contest, but Diaz looks ready.
Not a man of many words, Diaz simply said he was going to repeat his performance against Lawler, but this time coming from a better version of himself.
“I’m going to beat Robbie again,” Diaz said.