UFC fan-favorite Nick Diaz admits he was ‘freaked out’ by Robbie Lawler prior to their first welterweight bout at UFC 47 in 2004.
Lawler, 39, was highly touted as the next best thing at welterweight, possessing devastating KO power and ruthless aggression.
Diaz headed into the bout as a considerable underdog, with most pundits predicting a highlight-reel KO victory for Lawler.
Diaz shocked the world when he started egging on and taunting Lawler in the octagon, with the Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu black belt urging the latter to stand and trade.
Diaz won the fight via second-round KO and, aside from being freaked out by Lawler before the fight, admits that he used trash talk to spook his opponent out.
“So the thing is with Robbie (Lawler) that kind of freaked me out was that he knocked out Steve Berger, Tiki Ghosn… He knocked these guys out, man,” Diaz said ahead of his rematch with Lawler at UFC 266 (h/t SportsKeeda). “It was like…there was no way I was going to win and everyone was like ‘oh, you’re fighting Robbie Lawler?’ So when I went out there, I just did what I knew and I spooked him.”
“I’m actually way more of a dangerous fighter than I was when I fought Robbie Lawler for the first time,” he continued. “I’m going to be really unstoppable having made the right decisions… I’m going to beat Robbie again.”
UFC 266, which will feature Lawler vs. Diaz on the main card, takes place this Saturday, Sept. 25 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.