A pivotal matchup in the heavyweight division, is in the works for the UFC's return to Abu Dhabi. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Roy Nelson is in the making according to UFC officials.
Yesterday, on UFC Tonight it was announced that the heavyweight bout was in preparation, for the UFC's next trip to Abu Dhabi later this year.
The promotion has only visited Abu Dhabi previously once before, that was back at UFC 112 in 2010. The event featured a main event between former middleweight champion Anderson Silva and Demian Maia and was held in a specially constructed open-air arena.
On Monday the UFC's president, Dana White, announced to MMAWeekly.com that the company would be returning to the United Arab Emirates. But White didn't say a planned date or venue for the event.
“We’re going back to Abu Dhabi this year,” said White.
The bout is an important fight for Nelson and "Big Nog", who are both coming of disappointing losses in their last fights.
Nogueira will be hoping to get back in the win column, after being submitted in his rematch with Fabricio Werdum back in June. The defeat was "Big Nog's" second career loss by submission. He was submitted for the first time in his previous loss to Frank Mir.
The 37 year olds last win came against Dave Herman, via armbar back in October 2012. In the last six years Nogueira has alternated between wins and losses, making him 4-4 in his last 8 outings.
Nelson likely needs a win the most, as he has lost his last two fight and had uninspiring performances in both. His most recent defeat did come to a top contender, in Daniel Cormier, but it's still his second consecutive decision loss. "Big Country" was previously beat by Stipe Miocic, back at UFC 161.
Prior to his two losses, Nelson was on a three-fight win streak, with three straight knockouts. Nelson had finishes over Cheick Kongo, Matt Mitrione and Dave Herman. The streak had moved Nelson into title contention, but his hopes were shutdown by Miocic.
No other fights have currently been announced for the card, but count on LowKick to keep you updated. So Nelson vs. Nogueira, who takes this one?