The WEC announced yesterday that Rani Yahya will fill in for the injured Manny Tapia and will face bantamweight (135 lbs.) champion Chase Beebe on the September 5 WEC card.
Yahya, a 22-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt who will be dropping down from featherweight (145 lbs.), is a three-time world jiu-jitsu champ, and the 2007 Abu-Dhabi world champion. Not bad.
In his first and only WEC fight, Yahya needed just over a minute to choke out Team Tompkins fighter Mark Hominick at WEC 28 on June 3.
"Beebe is an impressive wrestler, but my submissions will be too much for him to handle," Yahya has said. In Beebe, Yahya faces a four-time state high school wrestling champion who's scored nine submission wins in 10/11 pro wins (I’ve seen both figures published).
Against Hominick, Yahya watsed no time closing in on the tough Canadian and worked frantically to got Hominick onto the ground. I'll watch the fight again when I get home, but I don't recall Yahya setting up his takedown with any sort of striking. This approach might prove fruitless against Beebe, who's always looking for the KO, despite his submission skills and wrestling prowess.
Also part of the September 5 WEC card will be a lightweight title match between champion “Razor” Rob McCullough and Rich Crunkilton, as well a highly anticipated featherweight match-up between Cub Swanson and former UFC lightweight champion Jens “Little Evil” Pulver.
The WEC is once again delivering – for free! - a championship doubleheader. And that’s not to mention Pulver-Swanson. Be sure to tune in to the Versus channel on September 5 at 9 PM EST.