Nick Diaz has signed on the dotted line to lock horns with Robbie Lawler at UFC 266.
UFC president Dana White confirmed to Yahoo Sports that the previously targeted welterweight bout is nearly official for the Sept. 25 event. Lawler hasn’t yet signed a contract but the bout is expected to be finalized soon. Additionally, the matchup will be a five-round non-title affair, the second in the history of the Las Vegas-based promotion. The first such fight occurred at UFC 263, when Leon Edwards defeated Nate Diaz in a five-round verdict on June 12.
Lawler and Diaz initially squared off at UFC 47, with Lawler losing via knockout at the 1:31 mark of Round 2.
UFC 266 will take place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Sept. 25 and is expected to be headlined by a featherweight championship clash pitting Alexander Volkanovski against Brian Ortega.
Diaz hasn’t competed since January 2015, when he lost a five-round decision to Anderson Silva in the UFC 183 headliner — though the official result was overturned to a no contest after “The Spider” failed a drug test. Since that bout, Diaz has flirted with a comeback on multiple occasions, but nothing has come to fruition as of yet. A former Strikeforce champion, Diaz hasn’t won a fight since taking a unanimous decision over B.J. Penn at UFC 137 on Oct. 29, 2011. The 37-year-old Stockton, Calif., native won 11 straight fights from May 2008 to October 2011.
A former UFC welterweight champion, Lawler is currently mired in a four-fight losing streak. He last appeared at UFC Fight Night 175, where he dropped a three-round verdict to Neil Magny in August 2020. “Ruthless” hasn’t been victorious since he outpointed Donald Cerrone at UFC 214 on July 29, 2017.