UFC returned with UFC 266 today and one of the biggest showdowns on the card was between Nick Diaz and Robbie Lawler. Nick was making his UFC return after the gap of seven long years when former Welterweight champion Lawler came into the fight on the back of a string of losses.
Nick Diaz came out swinging in the first round but it was Lawler that had all the offense early on. He was pushing forward with his boxing combinations and landed 18 significant strikes inside the first minute. Diaz found some rhythm as the round progressed and mounted some offense of his own. Diaz went on to trouble Lawler with his exceptional boxing skills towards the end of the round.
Both the fighters resumed with their boxing exchanges in the pocket in the second round. Lawler was moving forward throughout the round when Nick was playing out an evasive game while also landing when he had the opportunity to. By the end of the second round, both Lawler and Diaz went into the three-figure mark when it came to significant strikes. Lawler dropped Diaz in the opening minutes of the third round and Diaz was unable to answer the call from the referee which gave Lawler a TKO victory in the round.
Lawler suffered defeats to Neil Magny, Colby Covington, Ben Askren, and Rafael Dos Anjos prior to this match with his last win coming against Donald Cerrone back in 2017. Nick, on the other hand, last fought in 2015 when he fought Anderson Silva in a matchup which was later announced as a no-contest. It was in 2011 that Nick last won a fight in the UFC.
UFC 266 was headlined by the UFC Featherweight title fight between Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega. Valentina Shevchenko went up against Lauren Murphy in the co-main event with the UFC Flyweight title on the line. In the main card opener, Jessica Andrade secured the first-round finish against Cynthia Calvillo. Curtis Blaydes also picked up a win against Jairzinho Rozenstruik after a three-round matchup.
Dan Hooker, Merab Dvalishvili, Chris Daukaus, and Taila Santos among others also picked up wins on the preliminary fight card for UFC 266.
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