In a conflict of titans, Robbie Lawler will get what he ‘anticipated,’ outlasts Nick Diaz in UFC 266 showstopper

LAS VEGAS — Robbie Lawler came visiting to a sitting Nick Diaz and grabbed his fingers. The 2 put their foreheads collectively as an indication of respect.

Lawler and Diaz, two ageing fighters revered for his or her traditional MMA fights, went to battle once more on Saturday evening at UFC 266 at T-Cell Area. The 2 pushed a relentless tempo — particularly contemplating they’re each nearer to 40 years outdated than 30 — however in the long run, Lawler was the victor through TKO at 44 seconds of the third spherical.

“Thanks for bringing the most effective out of me,” Lawler mentioned he instructed Diaz afterward. “I’ve loads of respect for you. Hopefully your life is gonna get collectively and good issues are going to occur to you.”

Lawler, the previous UFC welterweight champion, landed a mix, culminating with a tough proper hand to Diaz’s nostril that dropped him. Referee Jason Herzog requested Diaz if he wished to proceed, and Diaz shook his head. Herzog waved the bout off.

“That is what I anticipated,” Lawler mentioned in his postfight interview. “I anticipated him to push the tempo and attempt to break me. And I did not let him.”

Diaz, a cult favourite amongst followers, had not fought since UFC 183 on Jan. 31, 2015, a unanimous determination loss to Anderson Silva that was later overturned to a no contest when Silva examined optimistic for a steroid and Diaz examined optimistic for hashish.

In an interview earlier this week with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, Diaz expressed resentment towards the game of MMA and mentioned he wasn’t actually positive why he was combating. That led to some issues within the MMA neighborhood about whether or not Diaz needs to be combating. However when he was within the Octagon on Saturday, he confirmed he was recreation to combat, touchdown lengthy mixtures and his regular quantity, although the strikes got here slower than regular.

“I’ve all the time had respect for Diaz,” Lawler mentioned. “He brings it each freakin’ time he will get into the ring. … He got here to battle and placed on a hell of a present.”

Afterward, Diaz was holding a towel as much as his nostril, which was bleeding. He had not been completed in a combat since 2007 and was completed solely as soon as earlier than in one thing apart from a physician’s stoppage (2002). When the bout was stopped Saturday, two judges had the rating tied at 19-19 and the opposite had Lawler forward 20-18.

“I knew I used to be leaking in right here,” Diaz mentioned. “I did not wish to go away an excessive amount of of a multitude.”

This was a rematch of a 2004 combat by which Diaz knocked out Lawler within the second spherical at UFC 47. Saturday’s bout passed off at middleweight, a swap that passed off throughout combat week on the request of Diaz, and was contracted for 5 rounds, which is uncommon for nontitle, non-main occasion bouts.

“No less than I placed on a present,” Diaz mentioned. “I knew I had it coming. There was loads of stress coming into this one.”

The primary two rounds had been very aggressive. Diaz landed a bunch of mixtures within the first spherical. Lawler countered with the tougher pictures within the second and third rounds. Diaz truly landed extra vital strikes, 150-131, in accordance with UFC Stats. Diaz is just the 12th fighter in UFC historical past to land 150 vital strikes in a loss — and all the opposite fights went longer than this one did towards Lawler, in accordance with ESPN Stats & Info analysis.

The 150 vital strikes are tied for the fifth-most in a middleweight combat, and the 281 mixed vital strikes are tied for the third-most in UFC middleweight historical past.

Lawler (29-15, 1 NC) had misplaced 4 straight coming in and had not gained since a unanimous determination over Donald Cerrone at UFC 214 in July 2017. The Florida resident held the UFC welterweight title from 2014 to 2016 with two profitable title defenses. Lawler, 39, can also be a former Elite Xtreme Fight middleweight champion and has been a professional fighter since 2001.

“He is a warrior,” Lawler mentioned of Diaz. “That was a tough combat. He was standing proper there within the pocket. I throw onerous pictures, and he was taking them. It was loads of injury. While you return and watch the combat, it was a three-round struggle. I hit fairly onerous, and it simply wasn’t his evening.”

Diaz (26-10, 2 NC) was searching for his first victory since 2011 when he beat BJ Penn at UFC 137. The Stockton, California, native is the previous Strikeforce welterweight champion, and he compiled three title defenses earlier than being introduced into the UFC for his second run with the promotion. Diaz, 38, is the older brother of fellow UFC star Nate Diaz, additionally probably the most standard fighters on the roster.

“I spoiled some plans,” Lawler mentioned.

Source link

Spread the love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *