UFC Abu Dhabi to feature the return of Nick Diaz, Sandhagen vs. Nurmagomedov

Diaz has not fought since losing to Robbie Lawler via TKO in September 2021

LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 9: Nick Diaz appears on stage at the UFC 279 ceremonial weigh-ins on September 9, 2022, at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, NV. (Photo by Amy Kaplan/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Nick Diaz hasn't won a fight since Oct. 29, 2011. He'll face Vicente Luque on Aug. 3 in Abu Dhabi. (Photo by Amy Kaplan/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Nick Diaz (26-10) will be back in the Octagon for the first time in nearly three years when he fights Vicente Luque (22-10-1) in a five-round co-main event at UFC Abu Dhabi on Aug. 3.

UFC CEO Dana White made the announcement on Wednesday and also revealed that Tony Ferguson will take on Michael Chiesa in a welterweight battle.

White also said that the winner of a fight between Cory Sandhagen and Umar Nurmagomedov would earn a bantamweight title shot as No. 1 contender for the belt. Sandhagen-Nurmagomedov had previously been announced as part of the card's main event.

UFC Fight Night in Abu Dhabi will be the 40-year-old Diaz's first bout since September 2021 when he lost via TKO to Robbie Lawler at UFC 266. That came after a longer layoff as prior to the Lawler bout Diaz had not fought since losing a unanimous decision in 2015 to Anderson Silva which was later changed to no-contest.

It's been over a decade since Diaz last won a fight — a unanimous decision over BJ Penn at UFC 137 in 2011.

The rest of the Abu Dhabi main card will see Marlon "Chito" Vera take on former flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo in a bantamweight bout and a strawweight match featuring Mackenzie Dern vs. Loopy Godinez.