Nick Diaz vs Robbie Lawler 2 forced into last-minute change with both UFC stars now moving up to middleweight

NICK DIAZ's long-awaited comeback fight against former UFC welterweight champ Robbie Lawler will now be a middleweight affair.

Fan favourites Diaz and Lawler will renew their rivalry early on Sunday morning at UFC 266 in Las Vegas.

The pair's eagerly-anticipated rematch – the most talked-about fight on the card – was initially due to be a welterweight showdown.

But according to MMA journalist Ariel Helwani, the fight will now be a 185lb bout.

Helwani wrote on his Substack: "Saturday’s Nick Diaz vs. Robbie Lawler 2 fight has been changed from a welterweight fight to a middleweight fight, according to sources.

"A specific reason for the late change wasn’t revealed. The fight will remain a five-round non-title fight, per sources."

According to UFC chief Dana White, Diaz and his team requested for the fight to be moved up to middleweight last weekend.

On Tuesday night, he said: "Robbie Lawler text me that he'll hit me when he lands.


"So Robbie wants to talk to me about this whole thing.

"So this all happened when I was out of town this weekend. So yeah, I know the Diaz camps wants the fight at '85."

Both men are no stranger to competing at middleweight, with Diaz having competed at 185lbs in his last outing six years ago and Lawler reigning over the division during his time in Elite XC.

Fan favourite Diaz – the older brother of UFC mega-star Nate – hasn't set foot inside the octagon in over six years.

The former Strikeforce welterweight champion was last in action against future Hall-of-Famer Anderson Silva at UFC 183.

I know the Diaz camps wants the fight at '85.

Diaz suffered a unanimous decision defeat to the Brazilian, although the result of the contest was overturned to a no-contest after Silva tested positive for metabolites of an anabolic steroid and synthetic testosterone.

The Stockton native, however, also failed his post-fight drug test, testing positive for marijuana metabolites for the third time.

The Nevada Athletic Commission initially slapped the MMA legend with a five-year suspension, although that was reduced to 18 months following a successful appeal.

Diaz and Lawler, 37 and 39 respectively, locked horns with one another 17 years ago at UFC 47 in Las Vegas.

Cult hero Diaz scored a sensational first-round knockout of Ruthless and has vowed to turn in a repeat performance in their second Sin City showdown.

He said: "I'm not going out there to call him names, you know. I'm gonna be a lot more sportsmanlike I think out there.

"That's not what won me the fight the last time. That surprised him a little, but I would've won the fight anyway.

"I'm gonna be really unstoppable, having made the right decision. So, I'm gonna beat Robbie again."


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