Ryan LaFlare's first year in the UFC has taken him to new levels -- on frequent flyer programs.
His first fight was in Sweden, his second in Brazil and his third in California. And that was just in 2013.
LaFlare, from Lindenhurst has his next fight booked now and, yes, he's taking another big trip. LaFlare (10-0, 3-0 UFC) will fight welterweight John Howard at UFC Fight Night in Abu Dhabi on April 11. That's roughly 6,838 miles in flying distance for LaFlare, who trains at both Bellmore Kickboxing Academy and Long Island MMA in Farmingdale.
Howard (22-8, 6-3) returned to the UFC last August after two years away and won both of his bouts.
Roy Nelson and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, aka "Big Nog", headline the card in the UFC's first trip back to the United Arab Emirates' capital city since April 2010. Other fights scheduled include:
Clay Guida vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri
Daniel Omielanczuk vs. Jared Rosholt
Andrew Craig vs. Chris Camozzi
Rani Yahya vs. Johnny Bedford
Alptekin Ozkilic vs. Dustin Ortiz
Ramsey Nijem vs. Beneil Dariush
Jim Alers vs. Alan Omer
Trevor Smith vs. Thales Leites