Nick Diaz returns to the Octagon to face Robbie Lawler at UFC 266 on Saturday night in the most improbable fight of the year. Not only is Diaz fighting for the first time since 2015, he's doing so against a man he first fought in 2004.
Diaz's wild career is one of the most unique in MMA history. He was the first WEC welterweight champion, a star for the UFC in the early 2000s, a Strikeforce champion, a multi-time UFC title challenger and the most visible figure in the battle to legalize marijuana in combat sports.
After failing a drug test for marijuana metabolites for the second time in his career following a loss to Anderson Silva in 2015, Diaz faced a wild battle with the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which handed down a five year suspension -- later reduced to 18 months -- and sidelined the Stockton, California-based fighter at the peak of his star power.
Now, Diaz returns to take on another fan-favorite brawler in a rematch of a battle from April 2004.
This week, Brian Campbell and Luke Thomas took a look back through Diaz's career with an in-depth Resume Review on "Morning Kombat".
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Let's take a look at two fights from Diaz's career the CBS Sports experts believe to be his top career-defining moments.
vs. KJ Noons (Nov. 10, 2007): Among the many turning-point fights in a career as long and decorated as Nick Diaz's, there wasn't a single one that produced as dramatic an instant result than his 2007 loss to KJ Noons in their first meeting for the inaugural EliteXC lightweight championship. Noons, a former pro boxer, routinely landed the harder shots as the counter puncher and cut Diaz bad enough that the fight was stopped by the cageside doctor after the first round. Diaz was so distraught by the setback that he stormed out of the cage and flipped off the entire arena with both hands before exiting. The fight turned out to be the last in an exciting run in which Diaz's defense was largely nonexistent as he took punishment and marched forward to make one action fight after another. But the aftermath went a long way in Diaz tightening up his craft and becoming more of a calculated stalker. Including his rematch with Noons three years later, in which Diaz gained revenge by defending the Strikeforce welterweight title, Stockton's finest went on to win 11 straight fights following the first Noons defeat including victories over Frank Shamrock, Paul Daley and BJ Penn. Diaz also achieved cult status in the process.-- Brian Campbell
vs. Takanori Gomi (Feb. 24, 2007): No fight more perfectly sums up the career of Nick Diaz than his PRIDE 33 non-title battle with then-lightweight champion Takanori Gomi. Gomi scored a knockdown and opened cuts under both of Diaz's eyes, but Diaz remained relentless and took over the fight on the feet before finishing it in the second round with an extremely rare gogoplata submission. Showcasing his impressive boxing and creative submission attack, Diaz upset one of the best lightweights in the world in what was his own debut in the division. Then, Diaz lost the win after testing positive for marijuana metabolites. The already-antiquated marijuana rules were enforced by Nevada State Athletic Commission officials who attributed Diaz's victory to his use of the drug, with then-commission chair Tony Alamo saying, "I was there at this fight and believe that you were intoxicated and... that it made you numb to the pain. Did it help you win? I think it did." Diaz and the NSAC would do battle again in 2015, ultimately ending Diaz's career for more than five years. -- Brent Brookhouse
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