That’s how long it has been since MMA fan-favorite Nick Diaz has been inside the octagon, but that all changes this weekend at UFC 266.
For the first time since February 2015, Diaz will step inside the UFC cage this Saturday and take on former welterweight champion Robbie Lawler.
Diaz’s last fight, which was well 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 Silva had tested positive for PEDs.
Even though he’s only fought three times in the past decade and hasn’t won any of those fights, Diaz’s return to the UFC at age 38 has plenty of fans excited because of his cult hero-like status.
Despite never winning a title in the UFC, Diaz held gold in Strikeforce and was once considered one of the most exciting fighters in mixed martial arts.
His return bout against Lawler is a rematch from their 2004 bout at UFC 47, which saw Diaz win via knockout in the second round.
Why did Nick Diaz stop fighting?
Diaz was suspended on multiple occasions because of 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 got it reduced to 18 months and it was eventually lifted in August 2016. He has since signed an agreement with NSAC to compete again.
Diaz has been away from the sport for over six years but will return against Robbie Lawler this Saturday (AEST) at UFC 266 in a five-round mididleweight bout.
Nick Diaz career MMA record
Diaz has a career record of 26-9 (2 NC), with 13 wins coming by way of knockout and another eight via submission.
He held the Strikeforce welterweight title in 2010 and defended it successfully on three occasions before opting to vacate the title in 2011.
In the UFC, Diaz has had 14 fights and won seven of them. His last win for the promotion came in October 2011, when he defeated BJ Penn via unanimous decision.
Diaz lost to Carlos Condit in a fight for the UFC interim welterweight title in February 2012 before going down 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 in UFC 266
In the U.S., 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 can pay a bundle price of $89.98 for the UFC 266 pay-per-view and an ESPN+ annual subscription, which offers a savings of more than 30 percent.
- Date: Saturday, September 25
- Start time: 6 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. PT
- Main card (PPV): 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT
- Main event: 12:15 a.m. ET / 9:15 p.m. PT (approximate)
Diaz and Lawler are the third of five fights on the main card, which starts at 10 p.m. ET. They should enter the octagon around 10:45 p.m. ET, depending on the length of previous fights.