UFC veteran Nick Diaz to make August return

Nick Diaz at UFC 266
Diaz's bout with Luque will be just his second in nine years [Getty Images]

Mixed martial arts veteran Nick Diaz will return to action for the first time in almost three years when he takes on Vicente Luque at UFC Abu Dhabi on 3 August.

The American, 40 - a welterweight champion in former promotion Strikeforce - has not fought since defeat by Robbie Lawler in 2021.

That bout followed a six-year hiatus from the sport which included an 18-month suspension for testing positive for marijuana after his fight with Anderson Silva in 2015.

The welterweight bout with Brazilian-American Luque, 32, will serve as the co-main event at the Etihad Arena and is over five rounds.

Diaz and his younger brother Nate are among MMA's most popular fighters, with their rebellious personalities and enduring careers attracting a cult fanbase.

A former UFC title challenger against Georges St-Pierre in 2013, Diaz has won 26 of his 38 professional bouts during a 23-year career.

But he has not won since beating BJ Penn in 2011, with three of his last four bouts ending in defeat.

The other against Anderson Silva in 2015 was deemed a no contest after the Brazilian also tested positive for banned substances.

The headlining fight in Abu Dhabi will see Umar Nurmagomedov take on Cory Sandhagen in a number one contender fight for the bantamweight championship, which is held by Sean O'Malley.