Nick Diaz hasn't fought in six years but, tonight, he makes his return to the Octagon.
There are other major fights on UFC 266. Featherweight champfaces off against jiu jitsu savant Brian Ortega and we get another chance to see the unbeatable Valentina Shevchenko perform -- but you can guarantee all eyes will be on Nick Diaz this weekend as he makes his return to the octagon.
Nick Diaz hasn't competed since fighting Anderson Silva at UFC 183 in 2015. In the time since, his brothercarved out his own legend, defeating Conor McGregor and becoming one of MMA's biggest stars in the process. But Nick Diaz was historically the more famous of the two. His comeback is huge news.
And the matchmaking for his return is sublime. At UFC 266, Nick Diaz is fighting fellow legend Robbie Lawler.
This one's a long awaited rematch. Diaz and Lawler fought in the UFC all the way back in 2004 and the fight was incredible. Given both fighters are much older, and far from their prime, this is perfect timing for a perfect fight.
You can watch their first fight below.
Who wins this time around? It's a coin toss really. No-one knows what kind of shape Nick Diaz is in, but Lawler has struggled as of late. My gut is telling me Lawler is the safe bet here, since he's improved massively since the first fight and has been far more active in the last decade. There's also the fact that Nick Diaz recently asked for the fight to be bumped from welterweight to middleweight. Is Diaz struggling with weight issues? Possibly.
Diaz and Lawler just had their first staredown at a press conference which took place today.
We have no idea what Nick Diaz is showing up though and that's what makes this fight so exciting.
UFC 266 Start time
The UFC 266 main card starts at 10 p.m EDT (7 p.m. PDT) but here are all the details from multiple timezones.
- The main card starts Sept 25, 10 p.m. EDT (7 p.m. PDT).
- The prelims start Sept 25, 8 p.m. EDT (5 p.m. PDT).
- The early prelims start Sept 25, 6.00 p.m. EDT (3.15 p.m. PDT).
- The main card starts Sept 26, 3 a.m. BST.
- The prelims start Sept 26, 1 a.m. BST.
- The early prelims start Sept 25, 11.00 p.m. BST.
- The main card starts Sept 26, 12 noon AEST.
- The prelims start Sept 26, 10 a.m. AEST.
- The early prelims start Sept 26, 8.00 a.m. AEST.
How to watch UFC 266
The UFC now has a partnership with ESPN. That's great news for the UFC and the expansion of the sport of MMA, but bad news for consumer choice. Especially if you're one of the UFC fans who want to watch UFC in the US.
In the US, if you want to know how to watch UFC 266, you'll only find the fight night on PPV through ESPN Plus. The cost structure is a bit confusing, but here are the options to watch UFC on ESPN, according to ESPN's site:
- Existing yearly ESPN Plus subscribers can order the upcoming UFC fight for $70.
- Existing monthly ESPN Plus subscribers will be able to either upgrade to an annual plan and buy UFC PPV for $85 or purchase the ability to watch the UFC event on PPV for $70 by itself.
- New ESPN Plus subscribers can buy a bundle of one UFC PPV event (streaming in HD) and an ESPN Plus annual recurring subscription for $90. This is a decent deal. The previous bundle gave a saving of 25% but this new bundle is a 35% saving. The ESPN Plus annual ESPN subscription will auto-renew after one year, at the price of an ESPN Plus annual subscription at the time of auto-renewal.
You can do all of the above at the link below.
MMA fans in the UK can watch UFC 266 exclusively through BT Sport. There are more options if you live in Australia. You can watch UFC 266 through Main Event on Foxtel. You can also watch on the UFC website or using its app. You can even order using your PlayStation or using the UFC app on your Xbox.
UFC 266 fight card
- Alexander Volkanovski vs. Brian Ortega
- Valentina Shevchenko vs. Lauren Murphy
- Nick Diaz vs. Robbie Lawler
- Curtis Blaydes vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik
- Jessica Andrade vs. Cynthia Calvillo
- Marlon Moraes vs. Merab Dvalishlivi
- Dan Hooker vs. Nasrat Haqparast
- Shamil Abdurakhimov vs. Chris Daukaus
- Manon Fiorot vs. Mayra Bueno Silva
- Karl Roberson vs. Nick Maximov
- Matthew Semelsberger vs. Martin Sano