The UFC’s return to Abu Dhabi is filling up, with the Fight Night 40 card now has five more additions.
Andrew Craig and Chris Camozzi will be hoping to bounce back from recent losses by squaring off with one another. Craig is 3-2 inside the Octagon, but has impressive wins over Chris Leben and Rafael Natal which led to many considering him a dark horse in the division. Luke Barnatt ended those hopes with a second round submission over Craig back in October, but a win over UFC mainstay Chris Camozzi could get him back on track.
Camozzi had a four fight win streak snapped by Ronaldo Souza, and a loss to Lorenz Larkin in November now puts the American on a two fight skid. However Camozzi remains a solid fighter at 185lbs and will be a tough test for the 28-year-old Craig, with the winner advancing in the talent stacked middleweight division.
Also in the middleweight division, former title contender Thales Leites will be hoping to go 3-0 since returning to the UFC with a win over Trevor Smith, who bounced back from losses to Tim Kennedy and Ed Herman with a decision win in January over Brian Houston. With Leites likely to come into the fight a heavy favourite, this bout is somewhat surprising considering the momentum behind the Brazilian, but Smith will be hoping to spoil that with a victory.
Elsewhere, TUF 13 runner-up Ramsey Nijem faces off against Beneil Dariush at lightweight. With Nijem seemingly on the verge of being cut in his last fight, he secured a much needed victory over Justin Edwards via decision and hopes to continue this with a win over Dariush. This will be no easy feat, however, as Dariush is coming off an impressive win over the returning Charlie Brenneman, snapping his four fight win streak in the process. At 7-0, Dariush is considered a big prospect to watch in 2014 and a win over UFC veteran Nijem will continue this progress.
Flyweights Dustin Ortiz and Alptekin Ozkillic square off in an attempt to get back on track in the 125lbs division, while UFC newcomers Jim Alers and Alan Omer will look to be victorious in their promotional debuts in the featherweight division.
The card, as it stands, is listed below. UFC Fight Night 40 is scheduled for 11 April in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Exact details regarding venue are yet to be disclosed.
Heavyweight bout: Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Roy Nelson
Featherweight bout: Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Clay Guida
Welterweight bout: John Howard vs. Ryan LaFlare
Heavyweight bout: Daniel Omeilanczuk vs. Jake Rosholt
Bantamweight bout: Johnny Bedford vs. Rani Yahya
Flyweight bout: Alptekin Ozpillic vs. Dustin Ortiz
Middleweight bout: Thales Leites vs. Trevor Smith
Middleweight bout: Andrew Craig vs. Chris Camozzi
Lightweight bout: Ramsey Nijem vs. Beneil Dariush
Featherweight bout: Jim Alers vs. Alan Omer