Mizuto Hirota vs. Rani Yahya
We head to the featherweight ranks next, as Strikeforce import Mizuto Hirota (14-5-1) takes on Rani Yahya (17-7). Marc Goddard is the referee in charge of the action.
Round 1: Hirota looking to cut off the cage, but Yahya throws a huge right that connects, shoots and scores a quick takedown. Yahya falls over Hirota, but grabs hold of the arm. Hirota escapes and is now in the top position. Yahya, the stronger wrestler, reverses things and is in control now, possibly looking for a submission. Hirota works to his feet, only to be taken right back to the canvas. Kenny Florian brings up the Shinya Aoki fight for Hirota in which Aoki snapped his arm. Yahya working the kimura, but is unable to lock it in and moves to the back. The round ends, though, before he can lock in a submission.
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Yahya
Round 2: Yahya gets another takedown right at the start, keeping Hirota from doing anything with his advanced striking game. Yahya with a submission locked in, calmly working to choke Hirota out with over two minutes to go. Yahya moves a bit, but is unable to finish off Hirota with the choke. Completely controlling performance by Yahya, though he has been unable to finish Hirota
FightLine scores the round 10-8 for Yahya
Round 3: So far, this round, Hirota has remained upright longer than the second. Yahya shoots, but is unable to get the takedown. Again, Hirota fends off the takedown attempt. Yahya goes for a single-leg this time, and gets it, but Hirota transitions to the back for a brief time before locking in a triangle and a possible armbar. Things just got interesting, as Hirota has the arm locked up tightly, but Yahya is able to reverse things and move to the back. Hirota looking to use some ground-and-pound, hammering away and getting out. Hirota throws a huge knee that misses, as Yahya is fatigued. Hirota pounding away with 30 seconds left.
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Hirota
Rani Yahya def. Mizuto Hirota via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)