That’s how long it’s been since MMA fan favorite Nick Diaz was inside the Octagon, but all of that changes this weekend at UFC 266.
For the first time since February 2015, Diaz will enter the UFC cage this Saturday and face former welterweight champion Robbie Lawler.
Diaz’s last fight, which was over six years ago, ended in a loss to Anderson Silva in the main event of UFC 183. The result was eventually changed to a no contest after it was revealed that Silva had tested positive for PED. .
MORE: Best Bets, Odds, and Predictions for UFC 266
Even though he has only fought three times in the last decade and hasn’t won any of those fights, Diaz’s return to the UFC at age 38 has many fans raving about his cult hero status.
Despite never winning a UFC title, Diaz held Strikeforce gold and was once considered one of the most exciting fighters in mixed martial arts.
His comeback fight against Lawler is a rematch of his 2004 fight at UFC 47, in which Diaz won by knockout in the second round.
Why did Nick Diaz stop fighting?
Diaz was suspended multiple times for failing drug tests for marijuana use, including a five-year ban courtesy of the Nevada State Athletic Commission in September 2015.
He appealed that suspension and reduced it to 18 months and was finally lifted in August 2016. Since then, he has signed an agreement with NSAC to compete again.
MORE: Why Volkanowski is poised to beat Ortega
Diaz has been away from the sport for more than six years, but will return against Robbie Lawler this Saturday (AEST) at UFC 266 in a five-round middleweight fight.
Nick Diaz’s career record in MMA
Diaz has a career record of 26-9 (2 NC), with 13 wins by knockout and another eight by submission.
He held the Strikeforce welterweight title in 2010 and successfully defended it three times before opting to vacate the title in 2011.
In the UFC, Diaz has had 14 fights and won seven of them. His last victory for the promotion came in October 2011, when he defeated BJ Penn by unanimous decision.
Diaz lost to Carlos Condit in a UFC interim welterweight title fight in February 2012 before falling to Georges St-Pierre in a title fight in March 2013.
His last fight inside the UFC Octagon was a loss to Anderson Silva, though it was eventually changed to a no-contest after Silva failed a drug test.
How to watch Nick Diaz at UFC 266
In the US, the UFC 266 main card is available via pay-per-view on ESPN +, which also requires a subscription. The PPV price for UFC 266 is $ 69.99 for current subscribers. New subscribers you can pay a package price of $ 89.98 for UFC 266 pay-per-view and an annual subscription to ESPN +, offering savings of more than 30 percent.
- Date: Saturday September 25
- Start time: 6 pm ET / 3 pm PT
- Principal card (PPV): 10 pm ET / 7 pm PT
- Main event: 12:15 am ET / 9:15 pm PT (approximate)
Diaz and Lawler are the third of five fights on the main card, which begins at 10 p.m. ET. They should enter the Octagon around 10:45 p.m. ET, depending on the length of previous fights.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.