The former welterweight title contender is scheduled for his first fight in over six years when he faces Robbie Lawler in a five-round featured bout on the pay-per-view main card.
Unfortunately his first scheduled appearance during fight week didn’t go as planned after Diaz actually arrived at the UFC APEX but then didn’t speak to the media as scheduled.
Diaz was initially scheduled to speak at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT but his time came and went without an appearance while other fighters competing at UFC 266 continued to answer questions. Following the last athlete to field questions, the UFC public relations team informed the assembled media that Diaz would not be appearing but would still to be scheduled to appear for the UFC 266 pre-fight press conference on Thursday.
While no-showing a media day is nothing new for Diaz, it’s the latest wrinkle to an already interesting fight week after Diaz’s team requested the matchup with Lawler move from welterweight to middleweight just days before the event takes place.
On Wednesday during his scheduled time with the media, Lawler didn’t seem all that bothered by the change, although he also admitted there wasn’t much he could do about it either if he still wanted to compete.
“There’s no sense in getting all riled up and excited this happened, this is whatever,” Lawler said. “Just staying relaxed. Camp went well so that’s pretty much what it comes down to.
“I’m falling back on the work I put in. The work I put in went great. My training partner Jason Jackson got me tip-top and ready to go. I’m sharp right now. I’m freaking strong. My coaches did a great job. That’s what I’m falling back on and why I’m not too worried about it. Life is good.”
Even the latest episode of UFC Embedded failed to capture any new footage on Diaz and instead featured part of his interview from the UFC Countdown show that previewed the entire event taking place on Saturday.
During the course of his career, Diaz has failed to make media commitments required by the UFC including a press conference in 2011 that actually cost him a main event title fight against Georges St-Pierre. While he eventually returned to the main event slot against B.J. Penn instead, Diaz is certainly no stranger to these kinds of situations.
UFC 266’s pre-fight press conference is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT on Thursday with Diaz slated to appear alongside Lawler as well as the main and co-main event fighters competing this weekend. The event will stream live on MMA Fighting.