Ricky Simon was able to steer well clear of Rani Yahya’s submission game tonight at UFC 234 and earn himself a unanimous decision victory.
Leg kick for Yahya on the outside. Now a body kick and Simon threatens with a punch. Simon stalking Yahya around the Octagon, but Yahya lands another low kick.
Head kick attempt from Simon as Yahya tries to take him down, but isn’t able to get him there for now at least.
Back to the feet they go. Simon still pressuring. Yahya throwing heavy leather but not landing. Yahya shoots in but not successful. Again he tries it and fails as Simon backs up.
Yahya backing up Simon with punches. Big punch from Simon and Yahya goes to the mat. Simon follows him down to the mat, but soon backs away as Yahya tries to work his ground game.
Big left hand from Simon and Yahya is down again and he’s not going to risk following him there this time around.
Yahya back up, but more tentatively now. He’s still trying to threaten with punches though. It’s Simon who is the more menacing in these exchanges so far though.
Yahya unable to get the fight to the mat on his terms so far as Simon either stuffs his attempts or refuses to get lured down when he tries to pull guard.
Yahya landing a low kick. Now one to the body. He punches to the body now. Another body kick as Simon responds with a punch.
Again to the hard body kick from Yahya. Simon with a takedown, but doesn’t follow Yahya down with it, instead kicking his legs.
Good right hand from Yahya. Simon with some blood trickling from his right eye. Body kick again. Yahya shoots in on a takedown, but Simon avoids it.
Another takedown from Simon, dumping Yahya to the mat, but not going to ground with him afterwards. Big right hand down the pipe from Yahya snaps Simon’s head back and has him hurt.
Yahya gaining confidence from that and presses forward looking to land more. He connects again, but Simon has a good chin. Simon shoulder charges Yahya and drops him to the mat.
Yahya moving in, but Simon takes him down. Yahya lands an upkick. Simon goes into Yahya’s guard in the final 10 seconds.
Body punch from Simon. Yahya tries for a takedown, but Simon gets him down instead. Yahya just glad to have the fight on the mat and throws up his legs looking for a submission attempt, but Simon gets out of that and back to his feet.
Body punch for Simon. High kick for Yahya. Right hand to the ear from Yahya. Another right lands to the face. High kick blocked from Yahya.
Yahya lunging for a takedown attempt and not able to do it due to Simon’s excellent takedown defense. Simon keeping just out of range so Yahya can’t clinch up and bring him into his BJJ guard.
Back on the feet. Simon landing to the head. Good right hand for Yahya. He shoots in and Simon stuffs it. Back upright. Head kick attempt from Yahya that’s blocked and Simon landing punches in response.
Two body punches and then one to the head from Simon. Left hand gets through for Yahya, but not hard. Big takedown for Simon in the center of the Octagon. Surprisingly Simon is opting to go into Yahya’s guard at last in the final minute of the fight.
Not a lot of time for Yahya to work here as Simon stays solid on top and then turns up the heat in the final 10 seconds with ground and pound.
Hard working performance from Simon then and he earns himself a unanimous decision victory (30-27 x2, 30-25).