Rani Yahya has championship aspirations.
Yahya competes tomorrow night (March 11) against Joe Soto at an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Fight Night event in Fortaleza, Brazil. Yahya vs. Soto is set to be featured on the preliminary portion of the card.
Speaking with MMAJunkie.com, Yahya said he is prepared to reach an elite level in the bantamweight division:
“This is my longest win streak since I joined the UFC – now it’s time to go for the top of the division. I’m only thinking about my fight against Soto. But I plan to be more active this year so I can climb up the rankings. My goal is to compete for the belt and be the champion. I’ve spent a lot of time studying Joe Soto. He has good hands. But I feel that, during striking exchanges, he exposes his face too much. On the ground, he is dangerous with a few good submissions like the gogoplata. He’s good at taking people’s backs and throwing ankle locks, but it’s nothing that would surprise me. I’m ready for it all. He does have a wrestling background, but he doesn’t use it that much. He takes a lot of chances by going for single-leg takedowns. I don’t know if he’ll want to try that with me. Whatever he does, I’ll be ready for it.”