UFC great refuses to continue in shock finish

There were no miracles in Nick Diaz’s return to the Octagon, with the UFC fan favourite refusing to continue in the third round against Robbie Lawler.

The fight was billed as two legends squaring off, with Lawler looking to get revenge for his loss to Diaz when both men were in their prime.

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Diaz, 38, said he didn’t want to fight at UFC 266 in the lead up, and in the end he refused to get up once he was dropped.

Diaz hadn’t competed under the UFC banner since a fight with Anderson Silva nearly seven years ago and it showed.

After an early exchange of punches in the third round, Lawler connected to the head which had Diaz on one knee before he was forced onto his back.

Diaz then invited Lawler to meet him on the canvas. Lawler refused and told him to get to his feet, but Diaz declined, even after referee urged him to. The referee was then forced to waive the fight off declaring Lawler the winner by TKO.

By the end, Diaz’s nose appeared to be broken, with blood gushing down his face.

“I don’t have no excuses. You know I had a long time off and I knew I had it coming. I don’t know how this fight got set up,” Diaz said.

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“I had a switch up in my management and the way the fight got set up was a bum rap. I had it coming he was in great shape. I know I was leakin’ I didn’t want to make too much of a mess.”

In an interview with ESPN on fight week, Diaz admitted he really didn’t want to fight and that he tried to get away from fighting over the last six years, but was pulled back because that’s the only thing he can do for himself.

When asked if there was anything about the comeback he could enjoy, he instantly responded, “No. Nothing.”

“I don’t know why I’m doing this. … This should not happen. Whoever set this up is an idiot. I don’t know why I’m doing this. I don’t know why this happened,” Diaz said.

“All the people around me and all the money and the sponsors, they won’t let me get away from fighting.

“There’s things I could do, but that’s not gonna work out. I might as well just go and take my punches. … I don’t want to look back and say, ‘Why did I not just do it?’ I don’t feel great. I feel great to fight. I don’t feel great about everything [else]. If I don’t do this, I don’t know how I’m going to feel about myself.”

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