Nick Diaz vs. Robbie Lawler was a rematch more than 17 years in the making, and for two-plus rounds it generated the kind of excitement fans were hoping for. The old rivals exchanged strikes and kept the fight on the feet, until a body shot by Lawler sent Diaz crumpling to the ground with his arm protecting his body.
As he absorbed one more big punch on the ground, referee Jason Herzog asked Diaz if he was OK to continue, and after Diaz failed to return to his feet and answer that call, there was no choice but to end the fight, giving Lawler a victory by TKO.
To that point, according to ESPN Stats & Information, Diaz outlanded Lawler with 150 significant strikes to Lawler's 131. Throughout the fight, and in its aftermath, the UFC roster paid tribute to two of the pioneers of the earliest days of the UFC.
Legends— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) September 26, 2021
Beautiful fight by the OG's!!!#UFC266— Jamahal Hill (@JamahalH) September 26, 2021
Both warriors Lawler & Diaz ! 🙏🏾 #UFC266— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) September 26, 2021
Robby is the wrong guy to fight after 5 years off— Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) September 26, 2021
Leggo!! What a fight#ufc266— Max Griffin (@MaxPainGriffin) September 26, 2021
Damn did Diaz just "no mas"— Funky (@Benaskren) September 26, 2021
142 strikes thrown in the 1st rd of a 5 rd fight! That's insane #UFC266— Neil Magny (@NeilMagny) September 26, 2021
This is exactly what I expected 😔— Sodiq Yusuff (@Super_Sodiq) September 26, 2021
Lawler much crisper and quicker Diaz slow plodding and that hook behind his ear ended it. Away too long. Hats off though to both. Lot of well placed and timed shots by Lawler, and good body work. #UFC #UFC266— Teddy Atlas (@TeddyAtlasReal) September 26, 2021