Bantamweight veteran Rani Yahya does not seem too worried about his next opponent. Paired up another seasoned UFC fighter in Kyung Ho Kang at UFC Vegas 33, the Brazilian acknowledges the skills of ‘Typhoon’, but does not consider anything too dangerous out of the ordinary.
In an interview with Combate, Yahya pointed out Kang’s skillset both on the feet and on the ground, and seemed unimpressed with what he discovered after watching tape. Although Rani did sing his opponent’s praises a bit more on the ground, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist still found some of his grappling to be just mediocre.
“I’ve watched Kang before,” Yahya said. “I’ve been watching him since 2013. We were on the same Japan card in 2013. I think that was his first UFC fight. I’ve always watched his fights, but I haven’t seen all of them, but I knew who he was. I always pictured myself facing him. Ever since then I saw things in his game that I could take advantage of. He goes for the takedowns a lot. He’s good at that, taking people down, staying on top. I don’t think he’s that good on the bottom. He has some submissions, but it’s pretty basic.”
“On top, too. He’s good at controlling his opponent, but at the same time, he’s never faced someone as dangerous as me,” Yahya continued. “If he gets on top of me in the fight, I know a number of reversals and submissions from the bottom, which will put him in a place he’s never been before. He’s never faced a grappler like me before. His striking is pretty basic. It starts out fast and then it slows down. There’s the issue of his reach, which he uses a little, but it’s very basic. He doesn’t seem to have KO power, too. He has no wins by knockout.”
Yahya (27-10-1-1) will look to start a new win streak after a submission win over Ray Rodriguez, back in March. Before that, the 36-year-old fought Enrique Barzola to a majority draw and dropped a unanimous decision to Ricky Simon, respectively in March 2020 and February 2019.
Now, Yahya is expected to take on Kang at UFC Vegas 33, on July 31. The card is scheduled to take place at the UFC Apex, in Las Vegas, and to be headlined by a middleweight bout between Uriah Hall and Sean Strickland.