Nick Diaz finally has an opponent set for his comeback fight, and it’s none other than his old foe Robbie Lawler! The pair first met what seems like a lifetime ago in 2004, when both men had less than twenty fights between them and were still at the very beginnings of their respective careers. It’s crazy to think that fans watching the first fight between Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz at UFC 47 had just finished watching a fight between two young prospects who would go on to become legends of the sport in their own rights before meeting again almost two decades later.
At the time, Diaz was just a year removed from winning the WEC Welterweight world championship and had only just started his UFC career with a victory over Jeremy Jackson in his debut at UFC 44. Lawler on the other hand was much more familiar with his surroundings competing for the UFC as he’d already amassed a 4-1 record for the promotion spread over the previous two years. The pair were matched together in a battle between two up-and-comers in a Welterweight division that was still being ruled over by BJ Penn at the time.
Since then, both Nick Diaz and Robbie Lawler have bounced around a little and competed for both EliteXC and StrikeForce before they both made their return to the UFC. During their time outside of MMA’s premier organization, Lawler went to the Middleweight division and spent some time as the EliteXC champion while Diaz earned the same taste of title-glory at StrikeForce. Since returning to the UFC, Lawler stamped his name in the history books with one of the most exciting title-reigns in the sport’s history and Diaz fought both Georges St-Pierre and Anderson Silva before stepping away from competition.
It wasn’t until late last year that Diaz announced that he had completed a test weight-cut and would be making his comeback in MMA. Since then things have been a little uncertain as there was no further development, no potential opponent, and his coaching team even revealed that he was looking into the possibility of taking a boxing match instead. But now, as per a report by MMA Junkie, Dana White is attempting to finalize Nick Diaz v Robbie Lawler 2 as the co-main event for UFC 266 and one side has already agreed in full, they’re just waiting on the other.