Brazilian jiu-jitsu blackbelt Rani Yahya might have a trick up his sleeve for his next outing. Paired up against Kyung Ho Kang at UFC Vegas 43, the Brazilian with no knockouts in 27 wins warns his opponents not to underestimate his striking.
Although he has never stopped anyone by strikes in mixed martial arts, Yahya wants to remind the world that he has scored knockout wins in amateur boxing and professional Muay Thai. In an interview with Combate, the Brazilian promises to make an example out of Kang if he sees an opportunity.
“The Apex Octagon is smaller. We both prefer to grapple, it’s very likely that that’s where this fight is going to take place on the ground. I’m very prepared for that and to knock him out, should it take place on the feet.”
“Because I’m very well-known for my ground game, people think I don’t have many striking skills.” Yahya continued. “I’ve fought a lot on the feet. I have KO’d people in Muay Thai and amateur boxing. Here, in the UFC, I always end up surprising my opponents on the feet. I’m ready to do it again on Saturday.”
In his last outing, Yahya (27-10-1-1 NC) submitted Ray Rodriguez via arm-triangle choke, back in March, making it the 21st submission win of his career. The victory came after a majority draw against Enrique Barzola and a unanimous decision loss to Ricky Simon, respectively in March 2020 and February 2019.
Now, Yahya is expected to take on Kang at UFC Vegas 43, on November 20, at the UFC Apex, in Las Vegas. The card is scheduled to be headlined by a women’s bantamweight bout between former champion Miesha Tate and contender Ketlen Vieira.