Nick Diaz returns vs. Robbie Lawler in five-round UFC 266 co-headliner

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Nick Diaz’s return to the UFC is finally a done deal.

After reports surfaced Diaz’s (26-9 MMA, 7-6 UFC) octagon return was targeted against former UFC champ Robbie Lawler (28-15 MMA, 13-9 UFC), the promotion has now finalized his deal for UFC 266 in September.

UFC president Dana White additionally revealed to Yahoo! Sports that the fight will be a five-round co-main event, making it the second non-title, non-main event fight in UFC history to be scheduled for 25 minutes after Nate Diaz vs. Leon Edwards first broke the barrier at UFC 263 in June.

UFC 266 takes place Sept. 25 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and ESPN+.

MMA Junkie verified the Diaz vs. Lawler booking with multiple people close to the situation. The people requested anonymity because UFC has yet to make an official announcement. Lawler has yet to sign his contract, but is expected to imminently.

The fight between Diaz and Lawler will be a rematch 17 years in the making. The pair last shared the octagon back in 2004 at UFC 47. Diaz won the bout with a memorable knockout, putting away Lawler in the second round.

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Diaz hasn’t fought since January 2015 when he took on Anderson Silva at UFC 183. The bout was ruled a no-contest after Silva tested positive for drostanolone and androsterone and Diaz tested for marijuana. Prior to that, Diaz had lost to then-champion Georges St-Pierre in a unanimous decision. From 2008 to 2011, Diaz went on an 11-fight win streak where he captured and defended the Strikeforce welterweight title.

Lawler, meanwhile, more recently compete in August when he suffered a decision loss to Neil Magny. He’s currently on a four-fight losing skid with his last victory coming in 2017. Lawler won the UFC welterweight title in 2014. He defended it twice before losing it to Tyron Woodley in 2016.