The third bout of UFC 163 saw one of the world’s elite grapplers in Rani Yahya dominate the inexperienced Josh Clopton with a superior ground game in a featherweight attraction.
The bout began looking a bit like a 2013 version of “Gracie Jiu-Jitsu in Action,” with Rani Yahya falling to a deep half guard, attacking with a heel hook, then scoring a sweep from a semblance of 50-50 guard. Yahya, of Brasilia, Brazil, advanced to mount with about a minute left, hitting some good punches.
Yahya landed a takedown to begin the second, and continued the ground assault. The Bay Area’s Clopton fought his way to his feet, but Yahya’s punches from half guard and mount dominated the stanza. On commentary, Brian Stann praised the improved integration of striking in Yahya’s ground attack.
Clopton fought in Yahya’s guard for much of the third, landing the occassional strike and defending submissions.
All three judges scored the bout 29-28 in favor of Rani Yahya.
Yahya, who improves to 18-7, showed improved takedowns but was never close to finishing Clopton, who falls to 6-2-1.
Rani Yahya defeats Josh Clopton by unanimous decision at UFC 163.