Rani Yahya tests positive for COVID-19, UFC Vegas 33 co-headliner shelved

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Yahya
Mandatory Credit: Chris Unger – Zuffa LLC

UFC Vegas 33 has lost yet another bout ahead of tonight’s return to the UFC Apex facility, with veteran Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace, Rani Yahya returning a positive test for the novel coronavirus — resulting in the cancellation of his co-headlining tilt against the would-be returning, Kyung Ho Kang.

This evening’s developments mark the fourth scheduled co-headlining tilt which has been shelved from tonight’s UFC Vegas 33 event, with bouts involving the veteran, Sam Alvey, and Roman Kopylov was shelved, the light heavyweight duo of Shamil Abdurakhimov and Chris Daukaus, as well as a welterweight bout between Mounir Lazzez and Niklas Stolze.

At yesterday’s official weigh-ins, two other bouts were removed from the event, with a bantamweight bout between the inaugural flyweight champion, Nicco Montano and Yu Wanan cancelled after Montano tipped the bantamweight scales by a whopping seven pounds, landing at 143lbs.

A highly-anticipated pairing of Trevin Jones and Ronnie Lawrence was shelved yesterday ahead of a bantamweight showdown, after the latter failed to appear at the scales, requiring hospitalisation due to health issues as a result of weight-cutting.

Veteran submission specialist, Yahya is the latest falter from tonight’s event — confirming on his official Instagram recently how he had, in fact, tested positive for COVID-19.

Hey guys, my fight just got cancelled,” Yahya posted. “I tested positive for the (sic) COVID-19 test that was made yesterday. I feel very good physically, and I believe that everything happens for a reason. Thank you all for the support!!

Yahya last featured at UFC Vegas 31 back in March at the UFC Apex facility, taking home a second round arm-triangle stoppage over Ray Rodriguez — nabbing his whopping 21st. submission win in professional mixed martial arts. As a result of his positive COVID-19 test result, his bout with Kang has been shelved, with the latter removed from the card as a result.

UFC Vegas 33 is now slated to proceed with a total of 10 bouts, with a middleweight clash between the streaking top 15 contenders, Uriah Hall and Sean Strickland set to take headlining honours. 

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