Ray Rodriguez expects to KO Rani Yahya to prove he’s “one of the best bantamweights in the world”

Ray Rodriguez
Image Credit: Ray Rodriguez's Instagram

Ray Rodriguez is confident he will get his first UFC win.

At UFC Vegas 21, Rodriguez is set to return to the Octagon against Rani Yahya. Rodriguez made his UFC debut last September and suffered a 39-second submission loss to Brian Kelleher on short notice. It was a disappointing result for Rodriguez but he knew he’d get another well-known name and he gets his wish against former WEC bantamweight title challenger in Yahya.

“I know where I deserve to be. Obviously, my debut on short notice against Brian Kelleher didn’t go my way, I wanted another known name,” Rodriguez said to BJPENN.com. “I know I’m one of the best bantamweights in the world and I match up well with Rani Yahya. I’ve fought so many UFC fighters on the regional scene, so I’m ready and I love this matchup.”

In the fight, Ray Rodriguez will have a three-inch reach advantage which he knows will be crucial. There is no question Yahya will try and take this fight to the ground, so for Rodriguez, if he can stay long and keep it standing he knows he will get his hand raised.

“The reach advantage is big in this fight. I will stay long and not allow him to land his big overhand and get to my hips,” Rodriguez explained. “His boxing has gotten better but he is a grappler and when I hit him with a few shots he will take some desperate shots and won’t want to stand with me.”

Ultimately, Ray Rodriguez is confident he will get his hand raised and do so by KO.

“Rani Yahya is very similar to Jimmy Flick who I fought on the regional scene. I was able to stuff his takedowns and hurt him on the feet,” Rodriguez concluded. “I’ve fought a lot of high-level grapplers before. The gameplan is to keep this standing, but if we get in a position where we hit the ground, I’ll be comfortable. I’ll keep it standing though and give him as much damage as possible until I know him out.”

Do you think Ray Rodriguez will KO Rani Yahya as he says?

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM