Plenty of pick ’ems and live underdog betting opportunities fill the BetUS sportsbook for this Saturday’s UFC on ESPN+ card. Picking a “Lock of the Night” is as tough as putting the main eventer, Miesha Tate away. But it can be done.
Our UFC 268 lock flamed out as the flyweights went the distance. This time around, we’re going the other way and picking a pair of bantamweights to scrap until the final bell rings as over 50% of 135 fights do go the distance as the UFC betting odds here indicate.
- Date: Saturday, Nov. 20, 6 p.m. ET
- Venue: Madison Square Garden, New York City, NY, United States
- Watch on: Pay-Per-View
Rani Yahya vs Kyung Ho Kang
- Weight Class: Bantamweight (135)
- Rounds: Three
- Moneyline: Kyung Ho Kang -120, Rani Yahya -110
- Totals: Over 2½ (-130), Under 2½ (Ev)
Rani Yahya and Kyung Ho Kang are bantamweight veterans who have compiled winning records in the UFC over a long career. Yahya (27-10-1) was a title contender back when phones were still stupid and Kang’s (17-8-0) only beat guys who are either out of the UFC or have come back just to get their asses kicked.
Make no mistake, these guys will win their share of UFC fights. But no serious contender will piss their pants when offered to fight either of them. And that’s exactly why this one will go all the way to a decision.
Why The Fight Goes The Distance
These guys have pillow hands. In 66 combined fights, a grand total of zero fights were won by a knockout – we’re not counting Kang’s two corner stoppage victories, which count as a “TKO”. Secondly, both throws at such a low volume, combining at just 4.09 significant strikes landed per minute.
Yahya and Kang do have plenty of finishes on their record. The Brazilian has even tied Urijah Faber with the most submission wins in the division (six) while Kang has 11 of his 18 wins come via the same way. So they can finish fights.
Kyung Ho Kang fights Rani Yahya at UFC Vegas 43
In Kangs 6 UFC wins the combined UFC records of the 6 guys he beat are 12W-22L
In Yahyas 12 UFC wins the combined UFC records of the 12 guys he beat are 18W-44L
Neither has a win against a guy with a winning UFC record.
— UncleWeezyMMA (@MmaWeezy) November 15, 2021
But upon closer inspection, most of the fighters they’ve submitted were cans. If you can’t finish a non-UFC caliber opponent, you’re not sticking around the UFC. So credit to these guys for being great at beating bad fighters. But when they face a step up in competition, it’s usually a loss by decision, which is a likely outcome here.
Why The Fight Ends Early
While unlikely, the under 2.5 rounds is not at longer odds for a reason: grappling. Yahya and Kang will spend a good portion of this fight scrambling. When they’re tied up for most of 15 minutes, there is a good chance someone gives up their back or limb one too many times.
Yahya has won via heel hooks, kimuras, and all kinds of chokes. If Kang gets careless and exposes himself, Yahya needs just a little bit of time to get him to tap. Alternatively, Yahya could get himself into a bad position and get pounded out by Kang. It could happen. But will it? You’ll need better than even money to bet online on it.
The Lock of the Night Is …
We would paint “Just Bleed” all over our forehead and scream into a camera if this fight somehow ends in a knockout (a fight-ending cut notwithstanding). But more than likely, we should see a back-and-forth scramble with many close calls. Ultimately, this fight will go past the halfway mark of the third. Lock it in as this Saturday’s best UFC bet.