Rani Yahya says failed weight cuts are often to the disadvantage of the fighter who missed weight — despite fighters missing weight going 3-0 in 2020.
Yahya (26--10-0-1) fights former friend Enrique Barzola (16-5-1) at UFC Brasilia on March 14. Speaking to Bloody Elbow ahead of the card, Yahya was asked about his thoughts on the failed flyweight title fight between Joseph Benavidez and Deiveson Figueiredo.
“I wanted the Brazilian to win because he’s Brazilian, of course, and it’s important for Brazil to have a champion. But I like Joseph, man,” Yahya said. “He is a very nice guy. Every time we communicated after our fight he was very friendly. I like him a lot.”
Somewhat unprompted, Yahya shared his thoughts on a potential rematch between the two and fighters missing weight. Figueiredo failed to make weight for the title bout, making him ineligible to win the vacant UFC flyweight title. Figueiredo went on to defeat Benavidez via second-round knockout.
“You know what my real thoughts about that fight are? I think you should actually publish that somehow,” Yahya said (Author’s Note: We gotchu, dog). “I think the rematch they booked is a very interesting thing to do. They should do that because of two reasons: He [Figueiredo] didn’t make weight and because of the headbutt that really affected the knockout moment. But one thing that we gotta make clear is [that] many times the guy that doesn’t make weight — it doesn’t mean that he has the advantage. Actually I think it’s quite the opposite.
“When the guy doesn’t make weight it is because he went to his limit,” he continued. “He has one or two more hours, depending on the commission, to cut the weight which means he was fighting against his body and against the clock, suffering to cut the weight. I think that’s what happens... I just want to make that clear for the people.”
UFC Brasilia takes place on March 14. The event is headlined by Kevin Lee vs. Charles Oliveira and also boasts Demian Maia vs. Gilbert Burns.