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Rani Yahya exudes stability.
Having been one of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s most reliable lighter-weight competitors for more than a decade, Yaha will take aim at his first win since 2018 when he confronts Ray Rodriguez in a three-round bantamweight battle on the UFC Fight Night 187 undercard this Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The Constrictor Team representative has quietly compiled an excellent 11-4-1 record inside the Octagon, including victories over Mike Thomas Brown, Mizuto Hirota, Masanori Kanehara and Michinori Tanaka. He last competed at UFC Fight Night 170 on March 14, 2020, when he fought Enrique Barzola to a majority draw.
As Yahya approaches his encounter with Rodriguez, here are five things you might not know about him:
1. He backs up his credentials with performance.
A longtime Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, Yahya struck gold at the 2007 Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championships, where he defeated Leo Vieira in the 66-kilogram final. Vieira entered the competition as the two-time defending champion. Yahya was also a silver medalist in 2005 and reached the quarterfinals in 2003.
2. He understands his strengths.
Yahya’s grappling expertise translated seamlessly to mixed martial arts. He has secured 20 victories by submission, accounting for 77% of his career total (26). Yahya’s methods of choice: four arm-triangle chokes, three north-south chokes, two kimuras, two rear-naked chokes, two guillotine chokes, one heel hook, one brabo choke, one Ezekiel choke, one triangle choke, one keylock, one armbar and one Peruvian necktie.
3. Some might refer to him as a model of consistency.
Despite having 10 defeats on his resume, Yahya has never lost more than two fights in a row. Meanwhile, he has put together six different streaks of three wins or more, highlighted by a six-fight tear between Oct. 30, 2004 and Aug. 5, 2006.
4. Durability has been one of his hallmarks.
Yahya has been finished only three times in his 38-fight career. Gesias Cavalcante submitted him with a guillotine choke at a K-1 Hero’s event on Oct. 9, 2006, Norifumi Yamamoto put him away with punches and soccer kicks at a K-1 show on Dec. 31, 2007 and Joseph Benavidez dismissed him with punches under the World Extreme Cagefighting banner on Dec. 19, 2009.
5. His exploits leave a statistical imprint.
Yahya ranks first on the UFC’s all-time list for bantamweights in submission attempts (12), second in submission victories (five), third in top position time (34:32), fifth in top position percentage (30.5), sixth in takedowns (23), sixth in submission average per 15 minutes (1.59) and eighth in control time (38:48).