Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira returns from a 10-month absence in April. | Alan Oliveira/Sherdog.com
The Ultimate Fighting Championship’s return to Abu Dhabi is now official, as Roy Nelson and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira will headline UFC Fight Night 39 on April 11.
The heavyweight matchup was recently confirmed by UFC officials after initially being reported last week on “UFC Tonight.” UFC Fight Night 39 will stream live on UFC Fight Pass, though a venue has not yet been announced for the event.
Nelson rides back-to-back defeats into his clash with the former Pride Fighting Championships titlist. “Big Country” saw a three-fight winning streak halted by Stipe Miocic this past June and then dropped a unanimous decision to Daniel Cormier this past October at UFC 168. Prior to those setbacks, the onetime IFL king earned victories over Dave Herman, Matt Mitrione and Cheick Kongo.
Nogueira has alternated wins and losses in his last seven bouts but has competed just twice since Frank Mir broke his arm with a kimura in December 2011. The 37-year-old rebounded with a 2012 submission of Herman at UFC 153 but was submitted in his most recent outing, tapping to a Fabricio Werdum armbar this past June at UFC on Fuel TV 10.