The UFC 266 card features two championship fights and a five-round match between Nick Diaz and Robbie Lawler. This is a rematch that comes 17 years later and is still capable of stealing the attention of fans.
Diaz is not a normal fighter. For his fans it is not about promotions, victories or belts, but about staying true to a fighting style, even if it costs him defeat.
Lawler was a UFC welterweight champion for just under two years between 2014 and 2016, but he made his mark with some of the most intense wars in the history of the category against Johny Hendricks, Rory MacDonald and Carlos Condit. However, it is the B-side of a match where his opponent has not won a fight in almost 10 years.
We would have to go back to UFC 137 on October 29, 2011 to find Nick’s last win, a unanimous decision against the legendary BJ Penn, and to UFC 183 in January 2015 for his last fight against Anderson Silva. However, the return of Nate’s older brother raises expectations among his thousands of followers.
“People don’t realize the influence it has on the MMA culture. This is the first man, believe it or not, to bring a healthy diet to sport. Now it is a key thing in this and all sports. He focused on being a vegetarian, eating right, and setting the example. In addition, he was the first to do triathlon at the same time as his career, now everyone does it, they swim, run, ride a bicycle. Also he was always genuine and authentic, many people have had success writing his speeches before, but for him it is not like that, when he says something, he thinks about it one hundred percent. The fans like that, he doesn’t follow anyone, he speaks his mind, his attitude and his perspective carry over to the cage. He doesn’t change, ”details Gilbert Meléndez, a former Strikeforce champion and Diaz’s training partner for most of his career.
At 38 years old, Diaz’s return has many unknowns since his physical condition for a fight is unknown, even less than five rounds. After UFC 183, she received a five-year suspension for a positive for marijuana, which today looks little more than ridiculous, taking into account that most of the commissions and the UFC regulatory body, USADA, decriminalized her.
Nick’s absence was long, but the numbers on social media don’t lie every time he shows up. When he steps into the Octagon again, audiences will indulge like they did with Nate in Glendale at UFC 263 in June of this year. The constant pressure and the Mexican style brought to the cage convinces them.
“When the Diazs fight, people go crazy. They love them. They are unique, to negotiate and to see them fight, ”explained Dana White, president of the UFC in an interview with ESPN Deportes.
Meléndez, who has been in his corner and shared camp dozens of times with Díaz, knows that it is not a pose. Nick is convinced that war is the only way he can shine.
“The guy puts pressure on everyone, he exhausts them. But he is also very intelligent, he has the best head movement, hand-eye coordination, he can avoid blows or block them. It can make you lose energy just with the way he walks towards you, causing you to throw and miss punches, putting his opponents in a panic when he lets go of his hands. Although I believe that what people see is their own confidence, he believes in himself like no one else, the best Mexican fighters have that confidence and they bring strength within the cage. He believes that he is the best, that is what makes him different from everyone, even after six years without fighting ”, he adds.
The fight against Lawler in its second edition will be at 185 pounds and not 170 as originally announced and remains on the UFC 266 undercard, where Alexander Volkanovski defends the feather belt against Brian Ortega and Valentina Shevchenko exposes the one at 125 pounds. before Lauren Murphy.
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