Nick Diaz vs Robbie Lawler 2 move to a middleweight fight not yet confirmed

nick diaz vs robbie lawler, ufc 266
Aug 3, 2019; Newark, NJ, USA; Robbie Lawler (blue gloves) reacts against Colby Covington (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The UFC 266 main card matchup of Nick Diaz vs Robbie Lawler 2 could be switched from a welterweight bout to a middleweight clash, however, that notable change is not yet official.

Headlines were made on Tuesday night when veteran Mixed Martial Arts journalist Ariel Helwani reported on his Substack page that the scheduled welterweight featured bout on Saturday night’s pay-per-view main card could actually be contested 15 pounds higher at middleweight.

Nick Diaz vs Robbie Lawler 2 at UFC 266 could happen at middleweight

“Saturday’s Nick Diaz vs Robbie Lawler 2 fight has been changed from a welterweight fight to a middleweight fight, according to sources. A specific reason for the late change wasn’t revealed. The fight will remain a five-round non-title fight, per sources. For the uninformed, that means it has gone from a 170-pound bout to 185. Both fighters have a history of fighting at 170 and 185, and both have expressed a desire to cut less weight these days,” Helwani wrote.

However, on the same night following this week’s episode of Dana White’s Contender Series, UFC President Dana White was asked about the news and informed the media that the change had not yet been finalized. And that “Ruthless” needed to talk to him about the new stipulation before anything could be officially agreed to.

“So I just got home. I left after the fights Saturday. I went to Boston for a couple of days and just got back a couple of hours ago. Robbie Lawler texted me that he’ll hit me [back] when he lands [in Las Vegas]. So, Robbie wants to talk to me about this whole thing. This all happened when I was out of town this weekend. I know that the Diaz camp wants to fight at ’85,” White said.

Both Diaz and Lawler have competed at middleweight in the past, although Lawler has a far more extensive history fighting in the weight class.

For much of Lawler’s (28-15) time competing outside the Octagon, from 2004 to 2012, he fought at middleweight. Building his resume in promotions like Elite XC and Strikeforce, and he even won the Elite XC middleweight title in 2007 when he knocked out Maurilo Rua — brother of MMA legend Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. When he re-signed with the UFC in 2013, Lawler returned to the welterweight division and would eventually win the title when he defeated Johnny Hendricks in their UFC 181 rematch in 2014.

Diaz (26-9) competed at welterweight for much of his career. Winning 170-pound gold during his run in Strikeforce in the early part of the last decade. He also challenged UFC welterweight legend Georges St-Pierre for the title at UFC 158 in 2013.

UFC 266 takes place on Saturday, Sept. 25 from inside the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event will kick off at 6 pm ET with preliminary action. The main card PPV starts at 10 pm ET exclusively on ESPN+.

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