Nick Diaz’s return to the UFC is finally a done deal.
After reports surfaced, Diaz’s (26-9 MMA, 7-6 UFC) octagonal return was aimed at former UFC Champion Robbie Lawler (28-15 MMA, 13-9 UFC), the promotion has now finalized his deal for UFC 266 in September.
UFC President Dana White also revealed Yahoo! Sports that the fight will be a five-round contest, making it the second untitled, non-main fight in UFC history to be scheduled for 25 minutes after Nate Diaz vs. Leon Edwards first crossed the barrier at UFC 263 in June.
UFC 266 takes place on September 25 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The main card is broadcast pay-per-view after preliminaries on ESPN and ESPN +.
MMA Junkie verified the Diaz reservation against Lawler with several people familiar with the situation. People have requested anonymity as the UFC has yet to make an official announcement. Lawler has yet to sign his contract, but is expected to do so imminently.
The fight between Diaz and Lawler will be a 17-year-old rematch. The pair last shared the octagon in 2004 at UFC 47. Diaz won the fight with a memorable knockout, fending off Lawler in the second round.
Diaz hasn’t fought since January 2015, when he faced Anderson Silva at UFC 183. The fight was declared without a competition after Silva tested positive for drostanolone and androsterone and Diaz was tested for marijuana. Prior to that, Diaz had lost to then-champion Georges St-Pierre in a unanimous decision. From 2008 to 2011, Diaz enjoyed an 11-game winning streak where he won and defended the Strikeforce welterweight title.
Lawler, meanwhile, recently competed in August when he suffered a decision loss to Neil Magny. He’s currently on a four-fight losing skid with his last win in 2017. Lawler won the UFC welterweight title in 2014. He defended it twice before losing it to Tyron Woodley in 2016 .
The UFC 266 range now includes:
- Alexander Volkanovski v Brian Ortega – for the featherweight title
- Valentina Shevchenko vs. Lauren Murphy – for the women’s flyweight title
- Nick Diaz vs. Robbie Lawler
- Jessica Andrade vs. Cynthia Calvillo
- Uros Medic vs. Jalin Turner
- Merab Dvalishvili vs. Marlon Moraes
- Curtis Blaydes vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik
- Roxanne Modafferi vs. Tatiana Suarez
- Manon Fiorot vs. Mayra Bueno Silva