Nick Diaz Returns to Fight Vicente Luque at UFC Abu Dhabi

Nick Diaz’s Triumphant Return: UFC Abu Dhabi Co-Main Fight

Nick Diaz, the legendary MMA fighter, is making a highly anticipated return to the octagon for a five-round welterweight bout against Vicente Luque. This exciting clash is set to be the co-main event of UFC Abu Dhabi on August 3, as announced by UFC CEO Dana White.

Diaz’s Comeback After Retirement Hints

The announcement of Diaz’s return has taken many by surprise, given his apparent retirement following his fight at UFC 266 against Robbie Lawler. Diaz, who has only fought twice since his 2013 title shot loss to Georges St-Pierre, faced Anderson Silva at UFC 183. The bout ended in controversy, with Silva’s unanimous decision victory overturned due to a positive test for drostanolone and androsterone. Diaz also tested positive for elevated marijuana metabolites in that fight, marking the beginning of a series of setbacks.

Despite these issues, Diaz has remained a beloved figure in the MMA community, known for his resilience and skill. His last victory dates back to UFC 137 in 2011, where he defeated B.J. Penn. Fans are eagerly anticipating his return, hopeful that Diaz can rekindle the form that made him a formidable opponent.

UFC Abu Dhabi Fight Night: A Stellar Line-Up

Dana White has revealed a series of compelling matchups for UFC Fight Night in Abu Dhabi, set for August 3. The event, held at the Etihad Arena, promises thrilling action with a stacked card:

  • Cory Sandhagen vs. Umar Nurmagomedov (Main Event)
  • Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera
  • Mackenzie Dern vs. Loopy Godinez
  • Tony Ferguson vs. Michael Chiesa
  • Nick Diaz vs. Vicente Luque (Co-Main Event)

The main event will see Nurmagomedov (17-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) taking on Sandhagen (17-4 MMA, 10-3 UFC) in a rescheduled bout initially planned for last August. Nurmagomedov had to withdraw from the original fight due to a shoulder injury, but fans are now set to witness this highly anticipated clash.

Tony Ferguson’s Potential Final Fight

Tony Ferguson, moving up to welterweight, will face Michael Chiesa in what could be his final UFC fight. Ferguson is on a challenging losing streak, making this bout crucial for his career. Marlon Vera, aiming to recover from his loss to Sean O’Malley at UFC 299, will face former flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo. Meanwhile, Mackenzie Dern looks to return to winning form against rising star Loopy Godinez.

Nick Diaz Hinted At Return Before Announcement

Before the official announcement, Diaz had already sparked speculation about his return. The Stockton Brawler posted a video on Instagram, declaring, “Somebody is gonna pay very soon.” This fueled rumours about his comeback, though many remained skeptical due to his prolonged absence and recent form.

Diaz appeared out of shape ahead of UFC 266, causing his fight with Robbie Lawler to be moved from welterweight to middleweight. The bout ended unexpectedly in the third round when Diaz, uncharacteristically, dropped to the floor and refused to continue. This led many to believe his career was over, especially after he turned 40.

Despite the doubts, Diaz’s legacy as an MMA icon and pioneer remains intact. With notable victories over BJ Penn, Paul Daley, and Frank Shamrock, his Hall of Fame career continues to inspire. As he prepares for his comeback against Vicente Luque, fans and analysts alike will be keenly watching to see if Diaz can once again prove his mettle in the octagon.

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