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Are fans seeing a different Nick Diaz ahead of UFC 266?

UFC, Nick Diaz

Though many are expecting a usual Nick Diaz will show up at UFC 266 this weekend, it appears that there have been a few changes in the returning MMA star’s approach.

MMA fans have been entertained not only by Nick Diaz’s superb fighting skills but by his flamboyant personality as well.

Prior to Conor McGregors, Nick and his younger brother Nate popularized the sick trash-talking and wild antics leading to and after UFC fights.

However, some may have not noticed it but the Nick Diaz that is set to take on former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler at UFC 266 seems a bit different.

Normally, Diaz would run his mouth and get under his opponent’s skin heading into the fight. This time, the UFC veteran isn’t throwing any type of insult to his foe, something he has never done in his entire career.

Based on one of his comments about his return, it is becoming more and more apparent that Diaz isn’t coming in just to put on a show. Instead, he is serious about validating his status as one of the greatest to ever do it.

“I’m actually way more of a dangerous fighter than I was when I fought Robbie Lawler the first time,” Diaz said on the UFC 266 Countdown show. “I’m not going out there to call him names, I’m going to be a lot more sportsmanlike out there, but that’s not what won me the fight, that surprised him a little bit but I would’ve won the fight anyway.”

“I’m going to be unstoppable having made the right decisions, I’m going to beat Robbie again,” he vowed.

Diaz’s UFC comeback marks the end of his six-year MMA hiatus. While many are thinking he is finally returning to become a mainstay in the famed promotion once again, his trainer Cesar Gracie hinted that it’s unlikely to happen.

According to Gracie, Diaz has been exploring his opportunities and is also “very open” to taking part in boxing matches as well.

“I have to see where he is in his contract,” Gracie told MMA Fighting of Diaz in June. “It is possible that his next fight will not be in the UFC.”

“Nick is very open to take a fight in MMA or boxing,” he revealed.