Nick Diaz returns after a six-year absence from the sport, to take on Robbie Lawler for what is now a middleweight bout after the Stockton native decided to change it only last week. This doesn’t mean much considering it's more or less a legends fight, with no implications to either division, but it might show us where Nick is at mentally as he’s basically anticipated a failed weight cut.
Diaz’s last win was all the way back in 2011 against BJ Penn, which yes, was a different BJ Penn, but it’s safe to say that win hasn’t aged particularly well, but it was also his last win in an impressive 11-fight win streak. Diaz then went on to record three consecutive losses against Carlos Condit, Georges St-Pierre, and Anderson Silva, three all-time greats of the sport, so no shame there.
Regardless of his recent record, Diaz is always in fun fights and always shows up on the night, so don’t take his refusal to cut weight, or his interviews this week fool you; this is still Nick Diaz and we might be talking on Sunday morning how this was all part of the plan.
The same year the California man left the sport, Robbie Lawler was the welterweight champion and won Fight of the Year with Rory Mcdonald, in a fight that most people will use as an example to why you should watch MMA. Whilst Diaz was absent from the sport, Lawler was enjoying a fruitful period in his career, cementing himself as a fan favourite and all time great in the welterweight division.
Unfortunately, Lawler is now on a four-fight skid not recording a win since 2017 and that was to another ageing legend, Donald Cerrone. In truth, it’s hard to know where both these men are in their decorated careers, but this is the perfect fight for the fans and for the fighters themselves to reestablish themselves late on.
As per Diaz and Lawler, respectively, and how the first fight between the two 16 years ago was also a war, expect another one. Furthermore, it's a five-round fight, and at their age, we expect it to go the distance in line with our 11/1 acca.