Nick Diaz returns, Tony Ferguson moves to welterweight at UFC Abu Dhabi

The UFC Abu Dhabi card on Aug. 3 just loaded up with a couple of legends joining the card.

Former welterweight title challenger Nick Diaz makes his return to action for the first time in nearly three years when he clashes with Vicente Luque in a five-round co-main event.

Tony Ferguson also fights on the card at welterweight against Michael Chiesa.

The new fights were announced by UFC CEO Dana White on Wednesday with the main event previously confirmed as Cory Sandhagen taking on Umar Nurmagomedov. During the announcement, White declared Sandhagen vs. Nurmagomedov as a No. 1 contender fight with the winner earning a bantamweight title shot.

Diaz booking a fight comes as a surprise after his last outing against Robbie Lawler in 2021 didn’t exactly inspire confidence that he was anywhere near the prime of his career. Still, the 40-year-old legend never strays too far away from the gym as he continues training and teaching while working with his brother Nate Diaz and longtime teammates such as Gilbert Melendez and Jake Shields.

Diaz’s most recent win came all the way back in 2011 against B.J. Penn. Since then, Diaz fell to Lawler, Georges St-Pierre, Carlos Condit and Anderson Silva with that final fight overturned to a no contest after the Brazilian tested positive for a banned substance.

As for Luque, he attempts to get back on track after suffering a knockout loss to Joaquin Buckley back in March, which dropped his record to 1-3 over his past four fights. Prior to that run, Luque was nearing title contention after rattling off four wins in a row including victories over former UFC champion Tyron Woodley and Randy Brown.

Meanwhile, Ferguson returns in a match that White teased as potentially the final fight of his career. The former interim lightweight champion moves to 170 pounds after losing his past seven fights in a row.

He’ll attempt to end that losing skid when he faces Chiesa, who hasn’t fought since July 2023 when he fell to Kevin Holland by submission in his third loss in a row overall.

Here’s the full main card for UFC Abu Dhabi:

MAIN EVENT: Cory Sandhagen vs. Umar Nurmagomedov

CO-MAIN EVENT: Nick Diaz vs. Vicente Luque (five rounds)

Chito Vera vs. Deiveson Figueiredo

Mackenzie Dern vs. Loopy Godinez

Tony Ferguson vs. Michael Chiesa

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