Young Chinese-Tibetan talent Rong Zhu (21-5) will get his first post-UFC test in short order next week in Abu Dhabi. UAE Warriors 24 will kick off a gargantuan weekend of some of the biggest fights of the year. He’ll fight Brazilian Felipe “Praguinha” Maia (13-5) on Thursday, October 20, per source. The event is scheduled to go down at the Al Jazira Sports Club in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The fight takes places at a 161lbs catchweight.
Rong signed with the UFC at a green 20 years old in 2021. He recorded a win between two losses, most recently a submission loss to Ignacio Bahamondes last February. Since then, Rong has been living and training in Indonesia at Bali MMA with the transported UFC PI Shanghai team.
Before his time with the PI, Rong was brought up in the foundry of the Enbo Gedou team in Chengdu, China—an orphanage/super team that produced UFC talents like Sumudaerji and Maheshate Hayishaer. He went pro at age 16 and fought 3-6 times a year before his UFC stint.
Maia is an international competitor who rides a three-fight win streak to his showdown with Rong Zhu. Of his thirteen wins, he’s finished twelve fights. He currently lives in Madrid, Spain, where he coaches at Titanes BJJ.
UAE Warriors 34 will be headlined by Martun Mezhlumyan (13-3) of Armenia, who takes on Acoidan Duque (18-3) of Spain, and Jungle Fights flyweight champion Felipe Pereira (10-1-1) meets top international prospect Azamat Kerefov (15-0) in the co-main event. The event streams on UFC Fight Pass at 10am EST / 7am PST.
The card will lead the weekend of fights in Abu Dhabi, followed by the epic UFC 280 card on Saturday, October 22nd, and followed up by the Road to UFC semifinals on October 23rd.