MMA Odds and Ends for Tuesday: Yahya/Kanehara Added To TUF Brazil 4 Finale

Rani Yahya Another fight between two veterans of the sport has been added to the TUF Brazil 4 Finale. As first reported by Combate, a bantamweight title between Brazil’s Rani Yahya and Japan’s Masanori Kanehara will go down at the TUF Brazil 4 Finale, which is set to take place June 27 at Ginasio do Ibirapuera in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Only a few bouts have been announced so far for this event, but it’s likely Yahya vs. Kanehara takes place on the preliminary card once it’s all said and done. Yahya last year dropped down to the bantamweight division, where he has fought a pair of bouts against Johnny Bedford, the first of which was a No Contest and the second of which Yahya won via second-round submission (armbar). Prior to making the move down to 135lbs, Yahya, a highly-decorated BJJ black belt, went 4-2 as a featherweight in the UFC. He looks like a better fit in the bantamweight division because he was never the biggest featherweight to begin with, and if he can put on another performance against Kanehara like the one he did against Bedford he will quickly move up the rankings and into the division’s top 15. As for Kanehara, the long-time vet recently made his UFC debut, where he took home an upset decision win over Alex Caceres. A winner of six of his last seven fights, Kanehara has a ton of experience fighting all over the world, and he’s overall pretty solid, underrated bantamweight fighter who doesn’t get the respect he deserves. However, after defeating Caceres in his last fight, bettors should be wise to just not automatically bet against him because of his shoddy record — he’s a solid fighter, even if his record doesn’t quite show it. As for a betting line, it’s interesting because both men were underdogs in their last respective outings, and both came through as underdogs. That being said, I’d have to imagine Yahya is the favorite heading into this fight. After all he’s the more well known of the two fighters and the bout is taking place in his home country of Brazil. But I wouldn’t sleep on Kanehara here, and if he can implement a wrestling-heavy attack like he did against Caceres, there could be an upset in store in this fight. In addition to Yahya vs. Kanehara, the TUF Brazil 4 Finale also features a middleweight bout between Thiago Santos and Steve Bosse, a welterweight bout between Rick Story and Erick Silva, and a welterweight matchup pitting Lorenz Larkin against Santiago Ponzinibbio.

Written by Adam Martin.

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