UPDATED: Big Nog vs. Roy Nelson in the Works for UFC Return to Abu Dhabi

January 30, 2014
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Rodrigo Nogueira UFC 102_1391_chopA fight between Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Roy Nelson could be in the offing if the UFC has its way.

UFC Tonight on Wednesday night reported that UFC officials are working on putting the two heavyweights in the Octagon opposite each other when the promotion returns to Abu Dhabi later this year.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship held its first event in the Middle East in 2010, but it has taken them until now for UFC president Dana White to declare a return.

We’re going back to Abu Dhabi this year,” said White during a media luncheon with MMAWeekly.com on Monday, though he didn’t have a date or venue for the planned event.

[Update] At a media event in New York on Thursday, White said that the fight would be in April in Abu Dhabi.

A UFC official later told MMAJunkie.com that the event is likely to be a UFC Fight Night show, will take place April 11, and that the entire event would stream on UFC Fight Pass, the organization’s digital network.

UFC 112: Invincible took place in the capital city of the United Arab Emirates on April 10, 2010, in an open-air arena constructed specifically to hold the event.

The 37-year-old Nogueira (34-8-1, 1 NC) has been alternating between wins and losses for the past several years, unable to get much forward momentum going during his UFC tenure.

He is currently on the downside of the rollercoaster ride, having lost via armbar to current No. 1 contender Fabricio Werdum after the two coached opposite each other during the second season of The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 2.

Nelson (19-9), also 37, and also in the lower ebb of the momentum scale, would enter the fight coming off back-to-back losses to Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier.

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  • Dragon Kid

    Good Fight, Goodnight!

  • p3ezy

    one of the few fights where i have no idea what will happen, right or wrong. cant wait. nog by decision

    • p3ezy

      scrap that, nog by sub rd 2

  • Robby Clark

    That’ll be a nice scrap, good matchup

  • julian moran

    Good match up. With Big Nog being a bit slow, he probably will get caught and koed by Big Country, but you never know.

  • drkdisciple

    Big Nog used to be my favorite fighter. His best days are behind him and its time to pull a GSP and move on.

    • TheCerealKiller

      It’s a little late for him to win the title and defend it for multiple years.

  • Piotr

    I might cry if Nelson KO’s Big Nog.

  • Alex

    A battle of two elements – Fat vs Rust.

    Only in a lackluster HW division these 2 dead bodies can be considered top 15 fighters.


    Imagine if Roy Nelson actually had the motivation to be a champion. Dude would be one of the best in the world. I hope he fight Mark Hunt next. Been waiting for that one.

    • Alex

      LOL had Nelson had any motivation, first he would’ve got rid of his pregnancy-looking belly and would’ve fought at MIDDLEWEIGHT, best fit to his frame.

      And then he would’ve got SMOKED there by any decent fighter – relying on one punch KO will get you this far only in the HW division (Brett Rogers and “wrestler” Shane Carwin say hello).