Las Vegas, NV — Following a TKO win over the returning Nick Diaz in what many billed as the “people’s main event” at UFC 266, Robbie Lawler credited his team at Sanford MMA for the victory.
“Jason Jackson [Bellator MMA] pushed me and imitated Nick Diaz to a T, so I was ready to go, I was in shape, and I felt good,” Lawler said following the win, speaking to media outlets including Cageside Press.
Outside of his team, Lawler had to give a bit of credit to his opponent as well, who gave him exactly the sort of fight he was looking for. “He likes to fight on the inside in close, and so do I,” noted Lawler, “so he obliged, and we put on a show for the fans.”
The pace throughout the fight, which went into the third round before Robbie Lawler found the finish, was intense. “I was huffing and puffing between rounds, but as soon as we went out there, I was feeling good and just letting them fly,” Diaz said. “Nick was doing a good job mixing it up. It was a fun fight.”
As for the finish, which saw Diaz dropped to a knee, then move to his back trying to convince Lawler to engage before having the fight waved off, “Ruthless” saw it as a culmination of his attacks. “I felt like it was an accumulation, but I think I caught him with a little check hook, and then caught him with a left after that, and then when he went down, I hit him with an uppercut,” he recalled. “But I think he wanted me to follow him down, and I was like ‘let’s continue the fricking fun stuff.'”
Ultimately, Diaz didn’t get back up, and the ref waved off the affair. Despite the odd finish, Lawler had nothing but respect for a man he’s shared the octagon with twice now. “He’s a warrior. That was a rough fight. He was standing right there in the pocket. I throw hard shots, and he was taking them. It was a lot of damage, when you go back and watch the fight, it was a war, it was a three-round war. I hit pretty hard, and it just wasn’t his night.”
“It was a rough fight,” he later added. “Hat’s off to him”
Lawler has gone on record to state that the Diaz fight got him excited. When asked about what comes next that might excite him, the former welterweight champ said only that “I’m sure the UFC will come up with something.”
Watch the full UFC 266 post-fight press scrum with Robbie Lawler above. More coverage of the event can be found below.