After six consecutive bouts in the octagon as a featherweight, twelve-year veteran Rani Yahya has opted to venture into the UFC’s bantamweight division. Yahya will meet fellow 135er Johnny Bedford at ‘UFC Fight Night 29’ in Abu Dhabi on April 11th. MMAFighting confirmed the fight with sources close to the situation.
Rani Yahya made a name for himself as a dominant fighter in regional promotions before he was picked up by World Extreme Cagefighting in 2007. After forcing Mark Hominic into submission in his debut fight with the promotion, he was immediately given a shot at the WEC Bantamweight Championship. He fell short of picking up the victory, but continued to be one of the top performers in the company until UFC bought them in 2011. Yahya chose to move up to featherweight for his UFC debut and has fought there since. He sports an impressive 4 wins inside the division, but after a recent loss to Tom Niinimaki he will now move back down to bantamweight.
Yahya’s upcoming opponent, Johnny Bedford, has not stepped into the octagon since his loss to Bryan Caraway at UFC 159. Bedford was scheduled to face Hugo Viana at UFC Fight Night 28 but was forced to pull out of the fight due to a foot injury. Bedford seems to be ready to get back to his winning ways, hunting for his third victory inside the UFC.