Another Fight Bites the Dust: UFC Vegas 33 Loses Co-Main Event, Again

Kyung Ho Kang and Rani Yahya, UFC Vegas 33
Kyung Ho Kang and Rani Yahya, UFC Vegas 33 weigh-in Credit: Alex Behunin/Cageside Press

UFC Vegas 33 has been hit with another fight cancellation, this time on the day of the event.

Saturday afternoon, co-main event bantamweight Rani Yahya announced on social media that he was off the card, after testing positive for COVID-19. Yahya had been expected to face South Korea’s Kyung Ho Kang in the penultimate fight of the evening.

Hey guys, my fight just got cancelled. I tested positive for the COVID-19 test that was made yesterday,” Yahya wrote, announcing the news. “I feel very good physically, and I believe that everything happens for a reason. Thank you all for the support!!”

It is not the first time UFC Vegas 33 (UFC on ESPN 28) has lost a co-headliner. Originally, Roman Kopylov vs. Sam Alvey held co-main event status. Visa issues for Kopylov scrapped that bout.

Chris Daukaus vs. Shamil Abdurakhimov was then slotted into the co-main event spot. Abdurakhimov was forced to withdraw from the fight, however, ostensibly due to a COVID-19 positive within his camp.

Ever so briefly, Niklas Stolze vs. Mounir Lazzez was promoted to the co-main event. However, with Lazzez pulling out, and Jared Gooden stepping in, that fight was pushed back down the card.

That left Rani Yahya vs. Kyung Ho Kang, which is now also off the UFC Vegas 33 card. The promotion has yet to announce what fight will serve as Saturday’s co-feature, although whatever fight lands there is probably doomed at this rate.

The current UFC Vegas 33 line-up breaks down as follows:

Uriah Hall vs. Sean Strickland
Cheyanne Buys vs. Gloria de Paula
Jared Gooden vs. Niklas Stolze
Bryan Barberena vs. Jason Witt
Melsik Baghdasaryan vs. Collin Anglin
Chris Gruetzemacher vs. Rafa Garcia
Danny Chavez vs. Kai Kamaka III
Jinh Yu Frey vs. Ashley Yoder
Zarrukh Adashev vs. Ryan Benoit
Philip Rowe vs. Orion Cosce