Nick Diaz returns to UFC Abu Dhabi

Published on 8 June 2024 at 12:00

On May 29, Dana White revealed four new fight announcements for UFC Abu Dhabi, leaving MMA fans shocked and hyped for the Fight Night coming up at the start of August. One of those announcements would see the #14 Welterweight contender, Vicente Luque, taking on the returning Nick Diaz as the two fighters clash in a highly anticipating five-round Welterweight bout in the Co-Main event. Here is all the comebacks Diaz had made in the UFC.

UFc 137: penn vs diaz

The Stockton-born fighter made his first return to the UFC on October 30, 2011 after showing his pure dominance in Strikeforce and becoming the Welterweight Champion in that promotion.

Diaz would be taking on the former UFC Lightweight and Welterweight Champion, BJ Penn, with the Prodigy fighting eight months ago at UFC 127 where he would earn a majority draw against Jon Fitch.

The California Southpaw mixed martial artist would have is first fight in the organisation since November 2006, when he defeated Gleison Tibau by second-round TKO at UFC 65.

The fight would only be three rounds as Georges St-Pierre was set to defend his UFC Welterweight Championship, but he would be ruled out due to a knee injury. In an incredible battle, Diaz would take the victory and win by unanimous decision, earning just his seventh triumph with the UFC.

A few months later, Diaz would take on Carlos Condit for the Interim UFC Welterweight title at UFC 143 after St-Pierre's injury. The Natural Born Killer would take UFC gold after five rounds, winning by unanimous decision despite a lot of the MMA community believing Diaz had won the fight with it being very close to judge.

Regardless of the defeat, the Californian would still get his opportunity to face St-Pierre as their would be heated words and body language exchanged inside and outside of the Octagon. The Welterweight Champion would win comfortably in the end, winning by unanimous decision.

Diaz would retire from MMA not so long after his battle with St-Pierre, but Dana White knew that he would soon return to the Octagon.

UFC 183

Coming back out of retirement, Diaz would set his sights on facing another challenging and history-making opponent as towards the start of 2015, Diaz would face Anderson Silva in a Middleweight bout at UFC 183.

Silva at the time would be seen as one of the greatest in the sport, pulling off the longest win streak in UFC history and earning the most Middleweight title wins. The Spider's career came crashing down when he lost to Chris Weidman twice for the Middleweight title, with the first bout ending in a second-round knockout, and the second bout ending with a brutal leg injury from a low kick.

Both men would return to seek redemption as Silva wanted to go back to winning ways and try to become champion once again, while Diaz wanted to show how tough he was and beat the best competition their could be.

In a five-round battle which would not be full of action, but would have some iconic moments, Silva would triumph and earn an unanimous decision win.

However, the result would be overturned to a no contest as both fighters had failed drug tests. Silva had tested positive for an anabolic steroid whilst Diaz tested positive for marijuana.

The Brazilian would eventually be suspended for one year, retroactive to the date of the fight but would be fined his full win bonus as well as 30% of his show money.

Diaz would originally be suspended for five years and have a total fine of $165,000, but after an appeal in January 2016, the suspension and fine would be reduced to 18 months and $100,000. This would leave fans to speculate that they may never see Nick Diaz fight again.

UFC 266

On June 13, 2021, Nate Diaz fought Leon Edwards in a five-round Welterweight war at UFC 263 which would not be featured in the Main or Co-Main Event. This would be Nate's first fight since November 2019 as fans were happy to see one of the Diaz brothers fight again in the UFC.

One month later, it had been announced that Nick Diaz would return after a six-year absence as he would fight Robbie Lawler for the second time in his career. This bout would be scheduled for five rounds at UFC 266 and just like Diaz vs Edwards, it would not be a headliner or co-headliner.

Ruthless Robbie would have a similar path in MMA to Diaz, fighting in the UFC early on in his career before competing at Strikeforce and then returning back to the top MMA organisation. Since his return to the UFC in February 2013, Lawler captured the UFC Welterweight title and defended the belt twice.

Both mixed martial artists had previously met way back in April 2004, where a young Nick Diaz would defeat a young Robbie Lawler by second-round TKO. Since then, both men have been evolved to UFC veterans and have both fought on the top level of multiple MMA promotions.

At UFC 266, Lawler would come out of the fight as victorious in the third round after Diaz could not continue, winning by TKO and handing the Stockton fighter his first knockout loss in the UFC. In the aftermath of the battle, both men would show lots of respect to each other as they have been in this game for a long time.

Many fighting fans were happy to see the San Diego fighter redeem his four-fight losing whilst seeing Diaz fight for the first time in over six years.

What is your favourite Nick Diaz moment? Are you excited to see him return at UFC Abu Dhabi?


Written by Charlie Oxtoby


Instagram: charlie_oxtoby

MMA Instagram:

Twitter: Charlie_Oxtoby1

Add comment


There are no comments yet.