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UFC 234 live blog: Rani Yahya vs. Ricky Simon

Rani Yahya faces off with Ricky Simon ahead of their bantamweight bout at UFC 234 on Saturday at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

This is the UFC 234 live blog for Rani Yahya vs. Ricky Simon, a bantamweight bout at Saturday’s UFC event at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia.

Yahya, who has won his last three fights by submission, faces Simon, winner of his last seven including two UFC appearances, on the main card.

Check out the UFC 234 live blog below.

Round 1: Steve Percival the referee for this one. Yahya looking to keep Simon back with leg kicks, but Simon is marching forward with active hands. He lands a leg kick of his own. Simon stuffs a takedown. Simon with an uppercut and Yahya throws back wildly, he looks happy to stand and trade. A hard punch from Simon lands and Yahya drops down. Simon doesn’t bite and backs off. Straight right by Yahya backs Simon up. He charges in and gets clipped by a right from Simon, he’s hurt. Simon doesn’t jump into his guard and lets Yahya stand up. A wild punch by Yahya is countered by a straight left by Simon and he drops again. Simon is lighting Yahya up on the feet. Simon easily avoiding Yahya’s takedown attempts. 1-2 by Yahya lands. Another takedown by Yahya is stuffed and Simon backs away, motioning for Yahya to bring it on. Yahya telegraphing his takedown attempts. Simon ducks a right hand and shoots in, tripping Yahya onto his back. Simon ducks away. Head kick partially lands for Simon.

MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Simon.

Round 2: Yahya opening up with front kicks to the body. He’s throwing heavy leather over the top, Simon doesn’t seem too concerned. They’re landing almost simultaneously. Yahya drops to his back again and Simon starts kicking his legs. Yahya back up. Good right hand by Yahya. There’s a cut by Simon’s right eye from an accidental headbutt. Shot by Yahya easily avoided. Simon backing Yahya up and he gets a 1-2 combo to connect. Ricky grabs Yahya’s hips and gets a quick takedown again, Yahya bounces right back up. Simon walks into a right hand counter and he’s circling away now. Yahya chasing him and throwing straight punches. Yahya’s right hand is finding a home on Yahya’s chin repeatedly. It looks like Yahya might have rose up and bumped Yahya onto his back with his shoulder to stop the Brazilian’s charge. They’re back on the feet and Simon dumps Yahya onto his back again by grabbing his hips. This time Simon does drop down for some ground-and-pound with about 30 seconds remaining.

MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Yahya. Overall, 19-19.

Round 3: Simon catches a kick from Yahya and trips him down. He briefly considers working from Yahya’s guard until Yahya throws up an armbar attempt. Simon backs off. Right hand over the top by Yahya lands. 1-2 connects for Yahya. Simon stuffs a takedown. He’s kicking Yahya’s legs. Simon makes Yahya miss as he tries to stand and catches him with a left jab. Standup exchanges have been fairly even. High kick by Yahya is blocked, Simon with the straight right Body-head combo by Simon scores. He’s pumping his jab out effectively. Simon times a takedown and gets it with one minute to go in the fight. Simon gets into Yahya’s guard and stays as heavy as possible, not looking to pass. Short elbow by Simon. He’s finishing the fight with punches and he lets out a roar to close the contest.

MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Simon. Overall 29-28, Simon.

Official result: Ricky Simon def. Rani Yahya via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-25)