It took 17 years but Robbie Lawler finally got his revenge.
In a highly anticipated rematch with Nick Diaz at UFC 266, Lawler looked better than ever as he came out throwing punches in bunches and looking for the finish as he put together a number of stiff combinations on the feet. While Diaz was constantly firing back at him, Lawler refused to back down and he eventually delivered a nasty right hook that dropped the former welterweight title contender to the ground.
Lawler followed that up with a huge left uppercut that had Diaz’s nose leaking blood.
From there, Diaz just waved off the fight as referee Jason Herzog officially stopped the contest at 44 seconds into the third round.
“That’s what I expected,” Lawler said about the win. “I expected him to bring it to me. That was a fun fight. That’s the sh*t I like to do. I caught him with a couple good body shots. He did a good job. I was just relentless tonight. He’s tough as hell.
“I’ve always had respect for Diaz. He brings it every single time he steps in the ring. I really appreciate him. He actually got me going.”
Lawler was quick to welcome Diaz back to the octagon with a furious start to the fight as he came out throwing hard, heavy punches as soon as he was released from the corner. Diaz weathered the early storm as he started throwing back his long left jab followed by a right hand behind it.
As time ticked away in the first round, Diaz started to get more comfortable with his combinations and he was landing with more regularity while doing his best to avoid the powerful shots coming back at him from Lawler.
The volume of strikes from Diaz was just relentless as he was throwing five and six shot combinations including several hard shots digging to the body.
While he was eating a lot of punches, Lawler was quick to return fire and he was throwing with some serious heat behind his strikes. As the second round got started, Lawler connected with a thudding shot to the body that forced Diaz back to the cage.
Lawler continued to stay in Diaz’s face, which helped him avoid the long, rangy strikes that have given the Stockton, Calif. native’s past opponents so many times over the years.
As soon as he came out for the third round, Lawler was determined to really started adding up the damage done, which led to the beautiful check right hook that dropped Diaz down to his knee. Lawler threw the uppercut behind it before backing away as he motioned for Diaz to get back to his feet.
Rather that rise from the canvas, Diaz stayed on the ground and motioned to the referee that the fight was over as Lawler earned the victory in the rematch.
Despite the result, Diaz was happy that he returned to put on a show for a loud Las Vegas audience that showered him with cheers all week long.
“I’m glad at least I put on a show,” Diaz said. “A lot of stress coming into this one. I don’t have no excuses. I had a long time off and I knew I had it coming. No excuses. He was in great shape. I’m glad to be back.”