UFC Abu Dhabi to feature return of Nick Diaz

Nick Diaz, one of the most popular fighters in mixed martial arts history, will return to the UFC in August.

Diaz (26-10) will face Vicente Luque (22-10-1) in a five-round welterweight bout at UFC Fight Night on Aug. 3 in Abu Dhabi. UFC CEO Dana White announced the fight on Wednesday.

The news came out of nowhere, as Diaz, the older brother of UFC star Nate Diaz, has not fought since September 2021. The 40-year-old legend struggled in a TKO loss to Robbie Lawler, and admitted during fight week he was not excited to return to competition. Prior to that fight, Diaz hadn’t fought in six years.

He’ll face an established opponent in Luque, 32, who has been a consistent force at welterweight despite losing three of his past four.

In a bantamweight matchup, Cory Sandhagen (17-4) will meet Umar Nurmagomedov (17-0), cousin of Khabib Nurmagomedov, in the main event. Additionally, White announced matchups between former bantamweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo and Marlon “Chito” Vera, a flyweight bout between Mackenzie Dern and Loopy Godínez and welterweight matchup between former interim lightweight champ Tony Ferguson and Michael Chiesa.

The UFC Fight Night will be held at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, the same venue that served as “Fight Island” during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.

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