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.