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Vicente Luque, Cory Sandhagen, Umar Nurmagomedov, Nick Diaz

Dana White Announces Main Card For Abu Dhabi Fight Night

UFC CEO Reveals Who Will Compete In The Main Card On August 3 Fight Night

UFC CEO Dana White announced the main card for the August 3 fight night set for Abu Dhabi on his social media channels, revealing a 5-pack of hyper-intriguing bouts featuring some of the biggest names and most exciting contenders competing in mixed martial arts today.

Headlining the card is Cory Sandhagen and Umar Nurmagomedov in what White dubbed a “No. 1 contender fight.” Sandhagen returns to action for the first time since beating Rob Font over the course of five rounds in Nashville, Tennessee, a bout in which he suffered a tricep injury that kept him out of action for the subsequent year. The Colorado-bred Sandhagen comes in on a 3-fight winning streak which includes wins over Song Yadong and Marlon “Chito” Vera. The matchup is a rebooking of what was to be the main event in Nashville last August before a shoulder injury forced Nurmagomedov out of the original bout.

Nurmagomedov, whom White touted as “the best prospect” at 135 pounds, comes into the bout undefeated, having faced little resistance in five trips to the Octagon. The cousin of Khabib Nurmagomedov, he has a great chance to catapault himself into the shark pit that is the elite at bantamweight with a win over Sandhagen.

In the co-main event, MMA legend Nick Diaz returns to the welterweight division to face all-action fan-favoite Vicente Luque. The 40-year-old Diaz was last seen at UFC 266 when he faced Robbie Lawler, but the trip back down to 170 pounds is his first since he fought Georges St-Pierre for the welterweight title in March 2013.

Luque is keen to bounce back with a big win over a big name after he fell to Joaquin Buckley in Atlantic City in March. “The Silent Assassin” dropped three of his last four but remains one of the most dangerous finishers on the roster having won all but three of his 22 professional victories before the need for judges’ scorecards.

Elsewhere on the main card, the bantamweight spotlight shines before the final walks of the night as “Chito” Vera takes on former flyweight champion Deiveison Figueiredo in a critical matchup in the bantamweight title picture. Vera is keen to bounce back after a disappointing result in his rematch with champ “Suga” Sean O’Malley at UFC 299. In facing a former champion, Vera could take a big step toward pushing for a trilogy bout with the bantamweight champion.

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He has a tall task in “Deus da Guerra,” who collected back-to-back wins since moving up to 135 pounds. His most recent outing saw him submit former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt at UFC 300. In 27 professional fights, Figueiredo has only tasted defeat against Jussier Formiga and Brandon Moreno with whom he shared a legendary tetralogy of fights.

Strawweights Mackenzie Dern and Loopy Godinez lock horns as well with both women hoping to restart a run toward the top of the division. Dern is coming off consecutive losses to Jéssica Andrade and Amanda Lemos although her UFC 298 bout against Lemos was recognized with Fight of the Night honors. Meanwhile, Godinez saw her 4-fight winning streak snapped when she ran into Virna Jandiroba in March. She is keen on making her way up the ladder and kick off what could be an incredible August for her family as her sister, Ana, is set to represent Canada in wrestling at the Paris Olympics later that month.

Last but not least, is the main card opener: Tony Ferguson vs Michael Chiesa. Ferguson, a bonafide legend of the game, is hoping to finally see his hand raised for the first time since June 2019 when he faces Chiesa in a welterweight contest. “The Maverick” is also looking to snap a 3-fight losing skid when he makes the walk to the Octagon for the first time since he got submitted by Kevin Holland at UFC 291.

UFC Fight Night: Sandhagen vs Nurmagomedov goes down at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi on August 3. Stay tuned to for any and all updates.

Don't miss a moment of UFC Fight Night: Sandhagen vs Nurmagomedov, live from Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi on August 3, 2024. Prelims start at 12pm ET/9am PT, while the main card kicks off live on ABC, ESPN & ESPN+ at 3pm ET/12pm PT.