“Ruthless” is fully focused on his upcoming bout with Bryan Barberena at UFC 276 on July 2, but when Heavy asked him about potentially fighting the Diaz brother, he didn’t shy away.
Lawler’s last bout took place in September against Nate’s older brother Nick Diaz. And the ex-champ spoiled Nick’s Octagon return via third-round TKO at UFC 266. If Lawler ended up competing against Nate, he’d have the opportunity to become the first fighter ever to hold a win over each fan-favorite brother.
“Nate Diaz is just like his brother — big name, comes to fight, no nonsense,” Lawler said. “Who knows what he’s working on and what the UFC’s working on for him. I think big things are gonna happen for him and he’s gonna get some big fights and some big paydays.
“If he wanted to fight, I’d be ready and I’d be down.”
Lawler (29-15, 1 NC) will look to earn his second consecutive win by defeating Barberena (17-8), who is on his own 2-0 streak. They’ll compete during the UFC’s preliminary card next weekend at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
On the other end, Nate has been taking to Twitter regularly to plead with the UFC to schedule him a contest. He wants to fight this summer and with only one bout left on his contract, he recently teased his interest in a potential boxing match with Jake Paul.
Even With Less Hype Surrounding This Fight Than His Last, Lawler Made Sure He Did ‘All the Right Things’ to Prepare for Barberena
Lawler’s fight in September had a lot of hype surrounding it as it was Diaz’s first competition since January 2015. Further, the middleweight fight was set for five, five-minute rounds, which was the second time ever the UFC had scheduled a contest like that — five rounds are typically only reserved for championship fights and main events.
Ruthless is aware that there is much less fan anticipation encircling his bout with Barberena. And that’s something he’s kept stock, and managed, during this fight camp.
“It’s definitely something that could be an issue,” Lawler said. “But I look at it as that. So it’s like, alright, how are you going to be when the fight’s not as high up on the card and people aren’t excited? Are you gonna go out there, what kind of energy are you bringing into the cage, into your training?
“It’s part of what makes this fun and when you see it, it’s like, okay, let’s fricken make sure you’re fricken ready to go and you’re treating this guy like he’s coming out to destroy you. So that’s what I did. I made sure I did all the right things, did all the right training and trying to bring that same excitement to the cage.”
Lawler Is Part of the Kill Cliff Fight Club Alongside UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya
Lawler is sponsored by Kill Cliff, a clean energy drink company, alongside reigning UFC middleweight king Israel Adesanya, former multiple-time UFC title challenger Joseph Benavidez and Bellator heavyweight champion Ryan Bader.
When asked about Kill Cliff, Lawler said “it’s a really good relationship,” explaining that before signing on with the company, it had been years since he drank energy drinks.
“It’s nice to have an energy drink that you don’t get that crash,” Lawler said. “And what you’re intaking is very healthy.”
“Sometimes you’re just getting energy from these drinks, and it’s not healthy for you. You might get a nice little pick-me-up and a good flavor. But Kill Cliff has done a great job of having a clean-burning energy drink.”
“They’ve helped me as a fighter sponsoring me, which in turn allows me to go out there and help all these other upcoming fighters.”
Ruthless finished by saying his favorite flavor is the Tasty Blood Orange.