The UFC’s second-ever trip to Abu Dhabi has a full fight card as eight matches were added yesterday.
UFC Fight Night 39
Preceding announced bouts between featherweights Clay Guida and Tatsuya Kawajiri and headliners Roy Nelson and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira will be matches containing a mix of old and new fighters.
Polish heavyweight Daniel Omielanczuk and former collegiate wrestler Jared Rosholt look to extend their UFC winning streaks to two, respectively, following their debuts last fall. After winning 11 matches in a row in the European MMA circuit, including one with a Middle Eastern promotion, Omielanczuk (16-3-1) defeated Nandor Guelmino at UFC 165.
Rosholt (9-1), the brother of MMA veteran Jake Rosholt, has traveled throughout the Midwest cultivating an 8-1 record before defeating Walt Harris via unanimous decision at The Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale last November. He expected to fight Oleksiy Oliynyk last month before Oliynyk pulled out with an injury.
Former CES Middleweight Champion John Howard looks to hand Ryan LaFlare his first MMA loss. Howard (22-8) began his MMA career in 2004 and has multiple stints in the UFC, most recently beating Uriah Hall and Siyar Bahadurzada.
LaFlare (10-0) is undefeated dating back to his first professional fight in 2008. A unanimous decision victory over Court McGee at UFC on Fox 9 ran his UFC winning streak to three.
Coming off a successful UFC debut last month, Beneil Dariush takes on Ramsey Nijem. Dariush (7-0) knocked out Charlie Brenneman in the opening round of their UFC Fight Night 35 bout last month. Ramsey (8-4) found success on the same night, defeating Justin Edwards via unanimous decision.
Rani Yahya steps down to bantamweight as he faces Johnny Bedford. Each are coming off a losses; Yahya (19-8) losing via split decision to Finnish fighter Tom Niinimaki at The Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale and Bedford (19-10-1) falling to Bryan Caraway last April at UFC 159. Bedford expected to face Hugo Viana at UFC Fight Night 28 before pulling out due to an injury.
The sole flyweight match will be between Alptekin Ozkilic and Dustin Ortiz. Ozkilic (9-2) has split his first two UFC fight, beating Darren Uyenoyama at UFC on FOX 9 before losing to Louis Smolka one month later. Similarly, Ortiz (12-3) won his debut at UFC Fight Night 32 before suffering a split decision loss to John Moraga.
Chris Camozzi looks to snap a two-match losing streak as he battles Andrew Craig. Camozzi (19-7) suffered back-to-back losses to Ronaldo Souza and Lorenz Larkin that followed four consecutive victories. Meanwhile, Craig (9-2) lost to Luke Barnatt at UFC Fight Night 30 after Barnatt locked in a rear-naked choke in a match that received Fight of the Night honors.
UFC newcomers Alan Omer (18-3) and Jim Alers (12-1) and middleweights Thales Leites (22-4) and Trevor Smith (11-4) will open up the show.
A flyweight match between Jamie Varner and James Krause is the fourth added to the UFC’s Memorial Day pay-per-view.
Varner (21-9-1) has lost three of his last four UFC fights including a KO defeat to Abel Trujillo that was deemed the Fight of the Night. It was the MMA veteran’s first knockout loss of his career.
Krause (20-5) is coming off a loss that snapped his eight-fight winning streak. The Virginia native lost to Bobby Green via TKO at UFC Fight Night 31. It was a controversial decision in that Green kicked Krause in the groin area twice, the latter leaving Krause unable to continue.
TUF China Finale
The featherweight tournament final between Yang Jianping and Ning Guangyou has been postponed due to injury. Details as to who was injured have not been released.
As a result, a match between Nam Phan and Vaughan Lee has been moved to the main card.
Cage Warriors 67
CWFC Bantamweight Champion Brett Johns puts his title on the line against James Brum at the promotion’s first trip to Swansea, Wales.
Johns (9-0) defeated two fighters at Cage Warriors 59 on his way to the title. ‘The Pikey’ expected to face Brum (14-2) at Cage Warriors 62 before bowing out due to an injury.
Brum is undefeated in seven fights since his CWFC debut in Feb. 2012. Most recently, he defeated Marat Pekov last December via unanimous decision.