UFC Vegas 43: Rani Yahya’s Grappling Leads to Clear Victory Over Kyung Ho Kang

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Kyung Ho Kang and Rani Yahya, UFC Vegas 43
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - NOVEMBER 20: (R-L) Rani Yahya of Brazil punches Kyung Ho Kang of South Korea in a bantamweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on November 20, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

After coming ever so close to facing off over the summer, Rani Yahya and Kyung Ho Kang finally got to throw hands at UFC Vegas 43 on Saturday.

Initially booked for July, the fight was postponed when Yahya tested positive for COVID-19 — with the result not coming back until just hours before the fight was set to go down.

The waiting finally came to an end Saturday, with the bantamweights part of the main card at the UFC Apex.

The first round opened up at a very fast pace as Kang threw a flying knee which was caught by Rani Yahya, who took the fight to the ground with a double leg. Early in the fight Yahya looked to take the back of Kang, but Kang got to his feet and as Yahya tried to roll and get a leg lock, Kang escaped and back to the feet the fight went. A power right landed on Yahya, which almost froze him in place. Powerful shots connected, dropping him to the ground. Yahya looked to have recovered as the round ended.

Round Two opened with another power right landing from Kang. Yahya took the fight back to the ground where he was more comfortable— rolling to the back, locking in the body lock. Kang could only defend strikes and submission attempts early. Yahya controlled the back for entire round with submission attempts and punches to the head of Kang.

We knew both men’s strategies going into the third: Kang wanted to keep it standing and Yahya wanted the fight on the ground to get back to another dominant position. After being hit with Kang’s powerful strikes, Yahya got the fight back to the ground and threatened with a brief arm triangle attempt. Kang seemed to be running out of time to get the fight back standing where he was most successful. Yahya kept busy in Kang’s full guard, landing strikes as the round came to a close with Yahya in top position, earning him the decision victory.

Official Result: Rani Yahya def. Kyung Ho Kang by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28,29-28)

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