Photo by Tracy Lee for Yahoo! Sports
The fight begins and Rani looked uncomfortable in the stand up. Mendes has been using decent footwork to keep the fight at a distance. Rani landed a nice punch to the chin of Mendes but received a punch/kick combination in return. Yahya was unable to get within range, shooting far from the outside. Rani was unable to come close on any of his shots. Mendes picked Rani up and landed a big punch to the head. He had no intention of fighting on the ground. A flying knee landed for Mendes as the first round ended.
Yahya resorted to just running in to get the fight to the ground. It failed, though Mendes got a big double leg slam. Yahya with another failed takedown which Mendes just side stepped. Mendes landed a big overhand as Yahya was coming in. Mendes shot another takedown and again Yahya was unable to get any offense going with the position. Mendes again stood up and has been just dominating the standup. Mendes missed an uppercut but has been the better of the two fighters on the feet. Yahya attempted another takedown but again was unable to come up with a limb.
Round three opened with another takedown by Mendes. Mendes was working from within Rani's guard landing some decent ground and pound. Yahya was unable to work any submissions and when he did look for an omoplata, Mendes was working his body. Mendes stood up and shot another double, almost getting caught in a guillotine. Mendes just outworked Rani Yahya on the ground landing big elbows and punches. Yahya looked to have landed an upper cut that dropped Mendes but the round and the fight was all Chad Mendes.
Chad Mendes has come a long way from the fighter that we all hated watching in the WEC. He put on an absolute clinic against Yahya, challenging the fantastic grappler in his world on the ground for much of the fight. Mendes wins a Unanimous Decision 30-27x3 and continues his undefeated streak. Now 11-0 in his career and 6-0 under the Zuffa banner, Chad Mendes is the clear #2 Featherweight in the world. Rani Yahya is now 1-1 in the UFC and this loss drops his overall record to 16-7.