Rani Yahya (18-7) increased his winning streak to two fights with a dominant unanimous decision win over Mizuto Hirota (14-6-1) on the main card at UFC on Fuel TV 8 from the Saitama Super Arena in Tokyo, Japan.
All three judges scored the fight 29-28 to the Brazilian, Yahya.
Yahya’s dominant grappling was on display throughout the opening two rounds, as he took Hirota, who decided to grapple with Yahya, down with ease as the Brazilian outworked Hirota on the mat.
Yahya quickly secured a takedown in the second frame and looked for an arm-triangle finish, but as it looked like Hirota was about to tap, he was given room and escaped, but from guard Yahya stayed active landing strikes until the bell.
Hirota, who was fighting at Featherweight for the first time, put in a spirited performance in the final round, scuffing Yahya’s early takedown attempts. Hirota looked to give Yahya a taste of his own medicine locking in an arm triangle but Yahya was able to escape and despite being gassed he held on for the decision.
The victory was Yahya’s third in four fights since joining the UFC, while for Hirota it was his second loss in two fights, but first inside the UFC Octagon.
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