With Irwin Rivera out of the fight (and facing attempted murder charges), Rani Yahya has been tapped to face Ray Rodriguez on March 13.
Rodriguez announced the news on social media Friday.
Ray “The Judge” Rodriguez (16-7) will be looking to bounce back from a loss in his octagon debut last year. His coming out party in the UFC was spoiled by Brian Kelleher, who quickly submitted Rodriguez via guillotine. Prior to that, Rodriguez had picked up a win under the Combate Americas banner, after coming up short on the Contender Series in 2019.
While the short-notice bout against Kelleher came at 145lbs, it will be back to bantamweight for Rodriguez in his sophomore effort. Outside the UFC, the San Antonio, Texas-based fighter has shared the cage with Tony Gravely, Jimmy Flick, and Steven “Ocho” Peterson, all of whom now compete under the Ultimate Fighting Championship banner.
Yahya (26-10-1, 1NC) will enter the fight looking to get back in the win column for the first time since 2018. He has competed just once a year for the past two years, losing to Ricky Simon in 2019, and fighting to a draw last March against Enrique Barzola.
The UFC’s March 13 event is expected to be headlined by Khamzat Chimaev vs. Leon Edwards, in a key (and highly anticipated) fight for the welterweight division.