Former UFC champion Robbie Lawler admits not much gets him excited these days.
At least not in terms of getting back into the Octagon and training.
But when UFC officials presented Nick Diaz as his opponent, that changed things.
Lawler and Diaz will be part of the upcoming UFC 266 event on September 25. The card takes place from Las Vegas on pay-per-view from the T-Mobile Arena.
“If I’m not excited about it, then whatever,” Lawler said in an interview with MMA Fighting. “If I’m excited about it, I’ll put in the time, get in there and grind away. I’m gonna be training (regardless), but there’s a different level of training for a big fight. And I want time in advance, eight to 10 weeks of putting in the time.
“Nick Diaz is a name that got me to put stuff down, get in there and focus. You never know.”
Lawler has dropped his last four fights to Rafael dos Anjos, Colby Covington, Neil Magny and Ben Askren. Nearly two decades ago, he met Diaz, losing via second round TKO.
“Our skills have evolved so much since that time. But, obviously, the fans are excited. This is a fight and he’s a big name, so I’ve been training hard,” Lawler said.
“It feels a little different (than most fights) to the extent that I’m doing extra. What I mean by extra is that, at this age, it takes a lot for me to take a fight. I’m not just gonna fight anybody, because it’s taking time away from my family and you have to be a little selfish, spend a lot of time on yourself in training.
“He’s definitely a guy and a name that’s getting me up and into the gym every day.”