Diaz and Lawler battled it out in an exciting welterweight clash at UFC 47. While Lawler had established an image of being a power puncher, Diaz was considered more of a Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist with a decent stand-up game.
Ahead of UFC 266, Diaz has revealed what freaked him out the most ahead of his clash with 'Ruthless'. According to the Stockton native, it was the fact that Lawler had knocked out Steve Berger and Tiki Ghosn, two veterans of the sport. The former UFC welterweight champion had finished six of his eight opponents at the time, all by KO/TKO.
Ahead of their fight, the narrative was that Lawler would once again demolish his opponent with hard-hitting punches, but that notion was far from being a reality. Speaking about his fight with Lawler at UFC 47 on the UFC 266 Countdown video, Diaz said:
"So the thing is with Robbie (Lawler) that kind of freaked me out was that he knocked out Steve Berger, Tiki Ghosn... He knocked these guys out, man. It was like...there was no way I was going to win and everyone was like 'oh, you're fighting Robbie Lawler?' So when I went out there, I just did what I knew and I spooked him."
It was Diaz who put on a spectacle. He mocked and consistently tagged the future welterweight champion before flatlining him with a strong right hook.
Watch Nick Diaz talk about Robbie Lawler in the video below (from 25 seconds):
Nick Diaz is feeling "unstoppable" ahead of comeback fight against Robbie Lawler
It has been over 17 years since Nick Diaz and Robbie Lawler shared the UFC octagon. While Diaz admits that Lawler has significantly evolved since then, he thinks he has shown more improvement as a fighter compared to 'Ruthless'.
"I’m actually way more of a dangerous fighter than I was when I fought Robbie Lawler for the first time. I’m going to be really unstoppable having made the right decisions... I’m going to beat Robbie again," said Nick Diaz.
Diaz and Lawler are set to compete in a rematch next weekend at UFC 266. It will only be the second non-main event and non-championship fight in UFC history that is scheduled to go on for five rounds. The first featured Nick's younger brother Nate Diaz, who faced Leon Edwards for five rounds at UFC 263 in June.