It looks like the UFC isn’t going to be depending solely on the drawing power of Renzo Gracie vs. Matt Hughes and the allure of free air conditioning to make their first Abu Dhabi event a success. In a video posted to his website today lightweight champ B.J. Penn says he expects to make his next title defense on the April fight card. He doesn’t mention who his opponent might be, but I think we can assume that if Gray Maynard feeds Nathan Diaz a steady diet of takedowns and noogies like we all expect him to in the main event this Monday’s UFC Fight Night, he has a pretty good shot at getting the call.
If Diaz manages to pull out the win however, it would put his current win streak at a meager two, and then we’d like Frankie Edgar‘s chances to get utterly destroyed by a semi-interested Penn.
So okay, one title fight for Abu Dhabi and a couple old-timers going at it. That ought to be good enough, right? Only maybe not. In an interview with Tatame, Carlos Santos of Team Emirates says that both Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort have contacted him through their representatives to train at his Abu Dhabi gym in the days leading up to the fight. Does this mean Silva-Belfort will also go down at UFC 112? Either that, or these guys both just really want to see the Al Hosn Palace without interrupting their regular training schedules.