Roy Nelson vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira Targeted for UFC Return to Abu Dhabi

Jeremy BotterMMA Senior WriterJanuary 30, 2014

Roy Nelson celebrates his win over Cheick Kongo after their UFC 159 Mixed Martial Arts heavyweight bout in Newark, NJ, Saturday, April 27,2013.  Nelson won via first round KO. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)
Gregory Payan/Associated Press

A fight between veteran heavyweights Roy Nelson and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira is being targeted for the Ultimate Fighting Championship's return to Abu Dhabi, which could take place later this year.

The news was first reported Wednesday evening by UFC Tonight:

It will be the UFC's first trip back to Abu Dhabu since 2010, when UFC 112 was held at a specially constructed stadium at the Ferrari World entertainment complex on Yas Island. The main event that night featured Anderson Silva defending his middleweight championship against Demian Maia in one of the most roundly criticized performances in UFC history.

The promotion has promised a return to the city ever since that night, but it's ultimately never secured a deal to do so until now.

Nogueira has been absent from competition since a June 2013 loss to Fabricio Werdum. Since 2008, he hasn't won or lost more than one fight in a row, and he hasn't lost two consecutive fights in his entire career. Meanwhile, after consecutive losses to Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier, Nelson is in danger of suffering the first three-fight losing streak of his career.

UFC Tonight also reported that the proposed UFC return to Abu Dhabi could take place in May, though UFC sources told Bleacher Report Thursday morning that a date for that month is far from finalized.

Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates. In 2007, CNN Money named it the richest city in the world. Ferrari World, where any UFC visit to Abu Dhabi would take place, is a monstrous indoor theme park dedicated to the world's most famous maker of supercars. Ferrari World is also home to Formula Rossa, the world's fastest roller coaster that reaches speeds of 149 mph.