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Rani Yahya eyes early 2016 UFC return following deviated septum surgery

Guilherme Cruz, MMA Fighting

Rani Yahya promises to be a new fighter when he steps inside the Octagon again.

The Brazilian grappler, who submitted Johnny Bedford and defeated Masanori Kanehara in his last two appearances under the UFC banner, plans to return to action early next year after undergoing surgery in Brazil.

"I underwent deviated septum surgery three weeks ago," Yahya told "I’m anxious to be back, to be in there fighting again. I’m already training, doing some cardio, some technical training. I’m getting crazy watching fights on TV."

According to Yahya, he was forced to go under the knife after taking damage for years.

"It’s the price we pay for years of training and getting punched in the face," he explained. "It was affecting my cardio and my personal life. I got a six-month medical suspension after my last fight, so I decided to fix this problem now."

"It’s way better now. I can breathe and sleep better now, so it’s helping me a lot," he continued. "The doctor said I’ll be cleared to train hard and spar two months after the surgery, so January or February, I’m in. I want to fight as soon as possible."

Holding a 6-2 UFC record with one no contest and unbeaten since returning to the bantamweight division, the ADCC gold medalist hopes to face a top contender next.

"There are a lot of top fighters there, some young prospects coming up, and I want to face the best," he said. "(Urijah) Faber and I fight for a long time, so that could be interesting. But there are other great challenges in there, and I’m up to fighting anyone. I’m working on my evolution, and I don’t think I’ve showed half of what I can do."

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