UFC 266 results: Robbie Lawler stops bloodied Nick Diaz after unusual fight-ending sequence

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At UFC 266, Robbie Lawler and Nick Diaz went to war – but it was “Ruthless” who came out on top.

In a five-round non-title middleweight feature bout, Lawler (29-15 MMA, 14-9 UFC) defeated Diaz (26-10 MMA, 7-7 UFC) via TKO at 0:44 of Round 3 and avenged a loss from 17 years ago.

The middleweight bout was part of the UFC 266 main card at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. It aired on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPNews and ESPN+.

The fight between Diaz and Lawler was 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.

The fight began in a wild fashion as Diaz attempted a jumping spinning back kick, which missed. He ducked under a Lawler combination and the two broke a clinch. Lawler immediately got aggressive and pummeled away at Diaz, who covered up. Diaz fired back with some slow combinations.

As Round 1 progressed, both fighters exchanged. While Lawler looked to land the power shots, Diaz resorted to his vintage “death-by-a-thousand-paper-cuts” type striking. Lawler finished the round strong.

In Round 2, Lawler landed the first visibly pain-inducing shot – a liver kick to which Diaz reacted noticeably. Diaz strolled away and recovered quickly before the two entered more continuous boxing exchanges. In the final seconds of the round, Lawler landed a flurry of punches.

The third round would be the final one. Though the fight was scheduled for five rounds, Lawler wouldn’t need the championship rounds. The final sequence started with a check right hook that dropped Diaz. A looping uppercut from Lawler zipped by a crouched Diaz, who flopped backward on the canvas. Lawler called for Diaz to stand up, but Diaz would not.

As referee Jason Herzog signaled him to stand up, Diaz, with a busted nose, said no and the fight was waved off.

Prior to UFC 266, hadn’t fought since January 2015 when he lost to Anderson Silva at UFC 183 in a fight that would later be overturned to a “no contest” due to a positive drug test by “The Spider.”

With the win, Lawler snaps a four-fight losing skid. He most recently competed in August when he suffered a decision loss to Neil Magny. Lawler is a former UFC welterweight champion who defended his title successfully on two occasions before he was knocked out by Tyron Woodley at UFC 201 in July 2016.

Up-to-the-minute UFC 266 results include:

  • Robbie Lawler def. Nick Diaz via TKO (punch) – Round 3, 0:44

  • Curtis Blaydes def. Jairzinho Rozenstruik via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

  • Jessica Andrade def. Cynthia Calvillo via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 4:54

  • Merab Dvalishvili def. Marlon Moraes via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 4:25

  • Dan Hooker def. Nasrat Haqparast via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)

  • Chris Daukaus def. Shamil Abdurakhimov via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 1:23

  • Taila Santos def. Roxanne Modafferi via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

  • Jalin Turner def. Uros Medic via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 4:01

  • Nick Maximov def. Cody Brundage via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

  • Matthew Semelsberger def. Martin Sano via knockout (punch) – Round 1, 0:15

  • Jonathan Pearce def. Omar Morales via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 3:31