Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE
Rani Yahya started strong then faded late but held off Mizuto Hirota to earn a decision victory at tonight's (March 2, 2013) UFC on FUEL TV 8: "Silva vs. Stann" event in Japan.
Hirota, if you remember, infamously had his arm gruesomely snapped by Shinya Aoki in one of the most brutal submissions in MMA history. His getting a main card slot on free television for the UFC was an opportunity to erase that.
He came close to something similar early in the first, actually, as Yahya latched on to one of his arms and had it twisted up real good before Hirota made his escape. Not that it mattered, though, as Yahya spent the remainder of the round on top scoring points.
The second played out largely the same, as Yahya changed levels when Hirota attacked against the fence. Once he got his opponent to the floor, he locked in an arm triangle and threw his legs over inching closer to the finish.
It never came but he once again dominated the rest of the round and headed for the third in firm control.
It was there that Hirota found some life with a few submission attempts of his own, most notably a triangle off his back and an armbar right after it. Unfortunately -- for him, at least -- he wasn't able to finish the way he needed to. And while he won the round, he had already lost the fight.
The final scores: 29-28, 29-28, and 29-28.
For complete results and blow-by-blow coverage of UFC on FUEL TV 8 click here.