SHARE




Former
World Extreme Cagefighting
title challenger Rani Yahya
has breathed new life into his career. Since he moved to
American Top Team
after a March 2017 defeat to Joe Soto, he
has rattled off two straight wins, as he submitted Enrique
Briones
with a kimura at UFC Fight Night 144 and tapped
Russell
Doane
with an arm-triangle at UFC on Fox 28.

Yahya will carry his two-fight winning streak into
UFC Fight Night 135
, where he meets Luke
Sanders
on Saturday at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln,
Nebraska. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt has compiled a 10-3
record under the
Ultimate Fighting Championship
banner, with wins over Mike
Thomas
Brown
, Mizuto
Hirota
and Masenori Kanehara.

In advance of Yahya’s clash with Sanders, here are some of the
numbers that have come to define one of the bantamweight division’s
more underappreciated veterans:

1: Gold medal at the Abu Dhabi Combat Club
Submission Wrestling World Championships. Yahya achieved the
association’s highest honor in 2007 while competing at -66
kilograms. Two years prior, he captured silver. The submission
specialist owns victories over a number of high-level jiu-jitsu
players, including Leo Vieira, Baret
Yoshida
and Jeff
Glover
.

3: Divisions in which he has fought as a mixed
martial artist. Before settling at bantamweight, Yahya also
competed at lightweight and featherweight.

4: Submission wins to start his professional MMA
career. The last three brought Yahya the TNT Vale Tudo 2 tournament
championship. All four fights took place in Goiania, Brazil.

2: Victories in the 2006 K-1 Hero’s lightweight
grand prix. Yahya defeated Ryuki Ueyama
and Kazuya
Yasuhiro
before losing to Gesias
Cavalcante
in the semifinals.

7: Fights inside the WEC. Yahya broke into the
promotion in 2007, when he was rostered following a 23-second
submission of Louie
Moreno
at a Palace Fighting Championship event.

3: “Submission of the Night” awards won in the
WEC. Yahya choked out Yoshiro
Maeda
, Eddie
Wineland
and John Hosman
in consecutive appearances and earned post-fight bonuses in all
three performances.

19: Career submission wins. In the UFC, Yahya has
tapped Briones, Doane, Josh Grispi,
Johnny
Bedford
and Matthew
Lopez
.

14: Fights in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Yahya has lost only to Soto, Chad Mendes
and Tom
Niinimaki
, all by decision.

1: Round needed to defeat Mark
Hominick
. Yahya answered a difficult challenge in his WEC
debut, as he submitted “The Machine” with a rear-naked choke in
just 79 seconds.

11: First-round finishes to his credit. Hominick,
Wineland, Hosman, Grispi, Briones, Moreno, Maeda, Junior Peba,
Fabio
Alves
, Taiyo
Nakahara
and Kazuya
Yasuhiro
were the victims.

5: Rounds fought against Chase Beebe
in a failed bid to capture the WEC bantamweight championship. Yahya
lost a unanimous decision in what was his second appearance with
the promotion.

4: Fights in which he has recorded at least four
takedowns in the UFC and WEC. Yahya executed four of them against
Kanehara, five against Hirota, six against Takeya
Mizugaki
and seven against Michinori
Tanaka
.


LEAVE A REPLY