Some surprising news came out on Tuesday, when it was revealed Diaz (26-9 MMA, 7-6 UFC) had made a last-minute request to shift the anticipated rematch with Lawler (28-15 MMA, 13-9 UFC) from the welterweight division to middleweight. UFC president Dana White said the request came from Team Diaz, but he first needed to speak with Lawler to make sure he agreed.
White and Lawler had that conversation, and it appears to have been green-lit. It’s a strange situation, but Lawler said it won’t rattle him.
“We had a short conversation,” Lawler told MMA Junkie and other reporters at UFC 266 media day. “It is what it is. I’m ready to fight. … I’m ready to go. That’s all that matters. Camp went well, and controlling the things I can control.”
The big adjustment for Lawler with this change is that he needs to pull back on his weight cut. He hasn’t competed at middleweight since July 2012, but Lawler thinks he’ll be able to make it work efficiently.
“Obviously I’m a little light, but I’m strong, I’m fast – I’m ready to fight,” Lawler said. “I’m going to eat, try to feel comfortable.”
Despite all the drama, Lawler said his opinion on Diaz hasn’t changed going into fight night. He said he enjoys the opportunity to welcome Diaz back to the octagon and get some revenge from his first career knockout loss in 2004.
“He’s a warrior, he comes to fight, and he doesn’t take sh*t,” Lawler said.
Robbie Lawler def. Rory MacDonald at UFC 189: Best photos
view 17 images
UFC 266 commentary team, broadcast plans set: Joe Rogan out for Nick Diaz’s return