The UFC will finally make their second trip to Abu Dhabi on April 11th for a ‘Fight Night’ card headlined by a heavyweight encounter as Roy Nelson takes on Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.
The first time the UFC traveled to the capital of the United Arab Emirates was back in April of 2010, marking their first ever outdoor show and was also a chance to celebrate their new ‘strategic partnership’ with Flash Entertainment who are owned by the UAE government.
It turned out to be a show the UFC would probably like to forget ever happened, with the main event in particular between Anderson Silva and Demian Maia proving to be a big disappointment, with Silva doing more showboating than fighting, while Maia quickly ran out of ideas as to how to deal with his opponent.
At the time UFC President Dana White stated that he was “embarassed” by Silva’s performance on the night, and the general negative reaction to the event may be a big reason why it’s taken four years for the promotion to return to the region.
Nelson comes into the fight on the back of two consecutive losses to Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier, while ‘Big Nog’ has also lost two of his last three fights, most recently losing out by submission to Fabricio Werdum back in June of last year.
So far no other bouts for the event have been announced, and at this stage it’s not clear whether the show will air on FOX Sports or the UFC’s new online subscription service, ‘Fight Pass’.
It’ll be interesting to see which venue the UFC uses this time around as last time Flash Entertainment built a makeshift outdoor arena in the grounds of the Ferrari World theme park to host the show – tearing it back down again a week later.