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Tag: Abu Dhabi

‘UFC Fight Night: Nogueira vs. Nelson’ Weigh-In Results — All Fighters on Weight, Andrew Craig Pulled Due to Tonsillitis


(LMFAO…I still can’t believe this poster is a real thing.)

All fighters competing on tomorrow afternoon’s UFC Fight Night: Nogueira vs. Nelson Fight Pass card in Abu Dhabi weighed-in today without incident — although one matchup was scrapped just hours before the weigh-ins. Due to a sudden bout of tonsillitis, middleweight Andrew Craig was forced to withdraw from his bout against Chris Camozzi, which is a bummer because Camozzi was fighting for a great cause.

The removal of Craig vs. Camozzi means that the Abu Dhabi card will only feature eight matches, making it the briefest UFC card since…well look, I’m not going to burn 15 minutes on Wikipedia trying to find the answer to that, but it’s been a while.

In a semi-related story, the monthly cost of Fight Pass was suddenly jacked up from 10 euros to 16 euros ($22.20) for Polish subscribers. But hey, you guys were warned, right? Weigh-in results for Nogueira vs. Nelson are after the jump…

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Clay Guida vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri: Breaking Down UFC Fight Night 39′s Co-Headliner


(Guida’s evolution has been awe-inspiring. Just ten years ago, he was an overweight comedian with no direction in life. / Photo via Getty)

By Santino DeFranco

The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing MMA fans that Clay Guida is exciting. He’s known for his energetic entrances, where he bounces up and down like a jackrabbit, lip-syncing to his walkout music, before getting slapped around by his brother prior to entering the cage. Unfortunately, the moment the bell rings that energy doesn’t equate to active, or exciting, fighting, which is a little misleading if you ask me. This Friday, April 11th, Guida takes on Japanese veteran Tatsuya Kawajiri in the UFC’s return to Abu Dhabi at UFC Fight Night 39: Nogueira vs. Nelson, and he’s going to need a lot more than an exciting entrance to escape the cage victorious against his tough foe.

Kawajiri will be making his second UFC appearance and, for some reason, is stuck once again on a Fight Pass card where his name isn’t even on the poster. (Not that he’d want to be associated with this train-wreck.) I’m assuming the promotion is paying him more than their standard entry-level pay, which begs the question, why isn’t the UFC promoting “The Crusher” heavier? Maybe a win against Guida will convince the UFC to finally introduce him to an American audience for his next fight.

To earn the victory, Kawajiri is going to have to keep Guida on the outside, where the American won’t be able to use the cage to slow down the action. The more minutes spent disengaged from any sort of grappling affair — either clinched up against the fence or on the ground — will favor the Japanese fighter. “Crusher” is going to need to circle, and spend some extra energy to fight out of the clinch and away from the cage. But in doing so, he risks overexerting himself and fatiguing those bulbous muscles attached to his small frame, which could be problematic in the later rounds as Kawajiri isn’t particularly known for having iron lungs. Although Guida doesn’t really do much with his famous cardio besides hop around and hug people very tightly, that’s not to say he isn’t capable of pushing the pace if needed — and we rarely see the man sleepy at the end of a fight.

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Roy Nelson vs. Big Nog Official for UFC’s Return to Abu Dhabi on April 11th


(Nelson, seen here donning the most elaborate Big Nog Halloween costume of all time. Photo via Nelson’s twitter.)

It’s official: Roy Nelson and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira will do battle when the UFC returns to Abu Dhabi on April 11th as previously speculated. Unfortunately, this card will only air on Fight Pass.

You can stop reading this article right now. No one would blame you. But if you’d like to know a little more about the UFC’s deal with Flash Entertainment, join us after the jump.

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Big Country vs. Big Nog Being Considered for UFC’s Return to Abu Dhabi in May


(Looks like that horse skipped leg day. Photo via Nelson’s twitter.)

On the heels of back-to-back losses to Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier, Roy “Big Country” Nelson is in need of a big win if he ever wants to be viewed in a more positive light than “a fucking idiot who couldn’t get a job at Kinkos” by his current employer. Just kidding, Dana White will hate Nelson regardless of how he performs in the octagon. In any case, it looks like Nelson’s bid to become the next executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission was about as successful as Mary Carey’s bid to become governor of California, as his next fight is already being lined up.

During last night’s edition of UFC Tonight, Ariel Helwani hinted that a bout between “Big Country” and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (a.k.a “Big Nog”) is being targeted for the UFC’s return to Abu Dhabi in May. Here’s how I know this:

It takes a keen investigative eye to be an MMA journalist, it does.

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Royler Gracie Refuses ADCC Bout With Eddie Bravo and Challenges 10th Planet Founder to an MMA Bout Instead


(Video courtesy of YouTube/Submissions101)

Royler Gracie failed to respond to Eddie Bravo’s challenge to compete at the 2011 Abu Dhabi Combat Club submission grappling competition by the July 10 deadline set by the 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu founder and has now tried to save face by challenging Bravo, who has never competed in mixed martial arts in his life, to a one-off MMA bout in Brazil.

“I have no problems with ADCC, but the fact is that we didn’t get to an agreement on our negotiation and unfortunately the organizers of the event haven’t got in touch with me again. I can’t keep waiting, I have other plans for myself. I’m assuming this bout won’t happen”, Royler told TATAME. “I’m dealing with this MMA event, which might happen in Brazil. I haven’t sign anything yet, but the negotiations are going well and it’s likely it happens. The organizer of the event even called Eddie Bravo to fight me, but he declined it, he didn’t want to fight me… And I said I was only punch him with my hands opened, man (laughs).”

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Once Again, Dana White Apologizes For Anderson Silva’s Performance


(Props: MMAFighting.com)

If Anderson Silva‘s inscrutable performance at yesterday’s UFC 112 left you feeling angry and cheated, Dana White feels your pain. White stormed out of the arena after the fourth round of Silva’s non-fight with Demian Maia, but not before dropping Silva’s championship belt off with the Spider’s manager, Ed Soares, refusing to deal with it himself. At the post-fight press conference, White ripped into the middleweight champ, telling media "I don’t think I’ve ever been more embarrassed in the ten years of being in this business." (Hmm. Does that sound familiar?) "I don’t know how yet," Dana continued, "but I will make this up to the fans that bought that shit tonight."

Having to repeatedly apologize for Anderson’s fights may have soured the UFC president on Silva permanently: "He said the other day that he wanted to cut to 170 and fight GSP. I don’t want to see that fight now. He doesn’t deserve to fight GSP…I’d like to say he lost his mind tonight, but this is the third time this has happened, this isn’t the first time."

Later, in an interview with Ariel Helwani, Dana called UFC 112 his lowest moment as president of the UFC, and appeared genuinely heartbroken that he had let down the people (and investors) of Abu Dhabi. It bothers him that he has to apologize to fans while Anderson seems to have no urge to do the same. Asked who he’d be interested to see Anderson fight next, White replied "Anderson doesn’t interest me right now."

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More Details on the Enormous Freakin’ Venue for UFC 112

UFC 112 venue Abu Dhabi Yas Island Abu Dhabi
(Photo of the work-in-progress courtesy of Flash.)

In just six days, the UFC will hold its first-ever event in the Middle East. For those of you who assume there’s a Bojangles Coliseum available in every city in the world, let me assure you that that’s not the case. (Bojangles should be so lucky.) Instead, the historic event required that a brand-new open-air stadium be built from scratch in about 20 days. Meanwhile, my neighbor Chris has been trying to build a deck in his backyard for three years. And before you think that this stadium is just some slapped-together P.O.S., check out this article on the massive undertaking published yesterday in UAE’s English-language paper, The National:

For Lee Charteris, the director of operations for the event organisers, Flash, and the army of 300 staff and sub-contractors he commands, the work started in early December. That was when construction of a purpose-built venue that will be able to hold more than 12,000 people at the Ferrari World amusement park on Yas Island began.
 
He said the structures his company built for the Aerosmith and Beyoncé concerts during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last year were impressive enough. “I thought we had pushed the boat out. But we have gone one [step further] this time. This is the biggest thing I have ever built.”…
 
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It Will Be Demian Maia Fighting Anderson Silva in Abu Dhabi

Demian Maia Jason MacDonald UFC 87 MMA
(Demian Maia puts a hurtin’ on Jason MacDonald at UFC 87. Photo courtesy of MMA Weekly.)

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner in the "Which Barely Credible Challenger Wants to Get Thrashed by Anderson Silva on Two Months’ Notice?" sweepstakes. From UFC.com:

Following a hard-fought three round win over Dan Miller at UFC 109 that showed him to be more than just a submission expert*, Demian Maia will jump right back into training camp for the biggest fight of his career – an April 10th meeting with UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva in the main event of UFC 112 at Ferrari World on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. Maia replaces countryman Vitor Belfort, who underwent emergency surgery on his left shoulder earlier this week to fix a chronic injury that got worse in his training camp for Silva.
 
“It’s always tough when a top fighter like Vitor Belfort has to pull out of a big title fight, but we have found a high quality replacement,” said UFC President Dana White. “Top contender Chael Sonnen was not available due to injuries sustained in his fight with Nate Marquardt, so top six** middleweight Demian Maia will step in to fight for the title. Maia is an Abu Dhabi grappling champion, a five-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion, and he is 12-1 in MMA and coming off a win over Dan Miller at UFC 109. Anderson Silva vs Demian Maia will be a matchup between MMA’s best striker and MMA’s best grappler.”

* Sure. He’s also a mediocre kickboxer.

** Come on, nobody uses the phrase "top six." Just say "top five" and hope nobody questions it.

So let’s break this down…

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Photos: UFC 112′s Headliners Gather in Abu Dhabi

Vitor Belfort Renzo Gracie BJ Penn Frankie Edgar Anderson Silva UFC 112

Frankie Edgar BJ Penn Ferrari World Abu Dhabi

Vitor Belfort, Renzo Gracie, BJ Penn, Frankie Edgar, and Anderson Silva pose for pictures in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, while Ferrari World looms in the background. Photos courtesy of the UFC 112 Facebook page. More shots after the jump…

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UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi Finally Official; Will Be Held at ‘Ferrari World’ in Yas Island

Ferrari World abu dhabi UFC
(Ferrari World artist’s rendering courtesy of skyscrapercity.com)

After weeks of private negotiations and public vagueness, the UFC has finally confirmed that their April 10th show will indeed take place in Abu Dhabi, home of their new partners at Flash Entertainment. Though concerns about the venue delayed the event’s official announcement, an existing outdoor stadium was eventually selected over the gravel-pit setup that Marshall Zelaznik had been touting. From the press release on UFC.com:

UFC to make history in Abu Dhabi at UFC 112
FIRST EVER OPEN-AIR EVENT TAKES PLACE IN UAE APRIL 10
 
Abu Dhabi, UAE – The world’s greatest indoor sporting event goes outdoors on April 10 as the Ultimate Fighting Championship® organisation lands in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates for the first time.
 
Some of the world’s greatest mixed martial artists will appear on the historic open-air UFC 11 event at the Concert Arena, Ferrari World, Yas Island.*
 
Topped by a double main event, two UFC world titles will be on the line at UFC 112. First, UFC lightweight champion BJ ‘The Prodigy’ Penn puts his belt on the line against No.1 contender Frankie ‘The Answer’ Edgar and then UFC middleweight king Anderson ‘The Spider’ Silva defends his crown against fellow Brazilian striker Vitor ‘The Phenom’ Belfort…
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