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Rani Yahya replaces Irwin Rivera against Ray Rodriguez at March 13 UFC show

Rani Yahya (pictured) looks for his first win since a 91-second heel hook over Luke Sanders in August 2018
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Ray Rodriguez will now fight Rani Yahya at the upcoming UFC Fight Night card on March 13.

MMA Fighting confirmed the switch after Rodriguez announced the news on his social media.

Rodriguez was initially scheduled to face Irwin Rivera, but the Mexican bantamweight was jailed on charges of attempted murder and then held at a mental health facility earlier this year.

Yahya (26-10-1, 1 NC) steps in the cage almost exactly one year after his most recent octagon appearance, a majority draw with Enrique Barzola at UFC Brasilia on March 14, 2020. The jiu-jitsu wizard was on a three-fight finishing streak before going winless in his last two, including a decision defeat to Ricky Simon.

Rodriguez (16-7) is looking for his first win under the UFC banner after losing in 39 seconds to Brian Kelleher in his promotional debut this past September. A veteran of the LFA and Combate Americas, “The Judge” scored half of his wins by way of submission.

The Fight Night show will be headlined by Leon Edwards vs. Khamzat Chimaev, with heavyweights Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Ciryl Gane battling in the co-main event.

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