Nick Diaz set for MMA return at UFC 266 after six-year break

UFC veteran and fan favourite Nick Diaz is set to return to professional mixed martial arts at UFC 266, six years after his last fight inside the octagon.

As per various reports from ESPN and UFC president Dana White, Diaz will compete for the first time since January 2015 when he fought to an overturned no contest against Anderson Silva. It marks the end of an unbelievable hiatus for Diaz who, for many years, has left fans and pundits wondering whether or not he’d ever fight professionally again.

The most astonishing part of it all, though, is his opponent – Robbie Lawler. These two men are stalwarts within the annals of UFC history and they actually fought once before, all the way back at UFC 47. On that night in April 2004, they engaged in a brutal back and forth war, ending when Diaz knocked Lawler out in the second round.

The pair have been through various ups and downs ever since then and 17 years later, they’re going to do it all over again in what will serve as the longest stretch before a rematch takes place in UFC history.

Robbie Lawler has lost his last four contests and five of his last six, whereas Diaz hasn’t had his hand raised since beating BJ Penn in October 2011.

Some newer fans probably aren’t going to put a whole lot of thought into the idea of this happening but for MMA purists, this is just about as good as it gets.

The contest will also be a five rounder, marking just the second time that the UFC has put on a non-title non-main event five-round fight – with the first being Nate Diaz’s classic against Leon Edwards earlier this year.

UFC 266 is currently scheduled to take place on September 25 with no official location confirmed as of yet.

Featured image credit: Getty