MMA

UFC 266: Robbie Lawler vs Nick Diaz Picks, Odds, and Predictions

Nick Diaz vs Robbie Lawler
September 25, 2021 11:00 pm EDT
The Line: Robbie Lawler -132 / Nick Diaz +112
(Click here for latest betting odds)

Nick Diaz and Robbie Lawler fight Saturday in UFC 266 at the T-Mobile Arena. Diaz enters this fight with a 26-9 record and has won 50 percent of his fights by knockout. Lawler enters this fight with a 28-15 record and has won 71 percent of his fights by knockout.

Nick Diaz has split his last six fights and is coming off a January (2015) no contest against Anderson Silva. Diaz is averaging 5.43 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 42 percent. Diaz is averaging 1.32 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 33 percent. Diaz lost his last bout at UFC 183 and will fight for the first time in six years. Diaz was dealing with suspensions and sanctions, and it’s going to be interesting to see how he looks given the massive layoff and the fact he’s now 38 years old. Is a balanced fighter who has a boxing background and is also a black belt in BJJ. Diaz has eight career submission victories and has never been submitted himself. Diaz is a volume striker who doesn’t have overwhelming power, but his work rate catches up to his opponent. Diaz has unreal conditioning, but it’s fair to question if that’s still the case given his age and long time away from the sport. This will be Diaz’s 12th career fight in Nevada.

Lawler has lost four straight fights and is coming off an August (2020) loss to Neil Magny. Lawler is averaging 3.50 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 45 percent. Lawler is averaging 0.68 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 64 percent. Lawler is coming off a decision loss at UFC Fight Night 175 where he ate 116 total strikes and landed just 41 total strikes. Lawler hasn’t won a fight since UFC 214 and has been badly outworked in his last two fights. When in good form, Lawler is an aggressive striker with legit knockout potential and is just as effective in the clinch as he is standing up. Five of Lawler’s last seven wins have come by decision, but he has a brawler feel to him and he still has that approach despite now being 39 years old. Lawler is also quite the takedown artist, but he’s been submitted six times, so the ground game can be a slippery slope. A tricky southpaw, Lawler has a fighting style that’s made him a fan favorite since joining the UFC nearly 20 years ago. This will be Lawler’s 13th career fight in Nevada.

It’s hard to get a great feel for this fight, as you have one guy who has looked sluggish and has been badly beaten in his last two bouts. On the other side, you have somebody who hasn’t fought in half a decade. This is a fight you’re probably better off just enjoying and not getting involved financially. However, if forced to pick, I’d lean Diaz and the plus money. Lawler hasn’t looked good in his last few fights. Yeah, Diaz has a massive layoff, but we know what he’s capable of when in good form, and he’s probably the better, more balanced fighter on paper. 

Give me Diaz.

Randy Chambers's Free Pick:
Nick Diaz +112
Up to $5000 Risk Free Bet; Use code DAWGZRF

Randy Chambers

Randy has covered sports betting since 2014 and writes about everything from NFL to WNBA.

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