Alateng Heili will be taking on Rani Yahya at UFC Vegas 81. The Chinese bantamweight will be looking to make it three wins in a row at the Apex Centre on October 7th.
Heili (16-8-1) has only one loss from his six UFC fights. He is currently based in Arizona and trains at Fight Ready, a gym that has proved popular with Chinese fighters like Aoriqileng and Weili Zhang.
At UFC 279 he earned a decision win over Chad Anheliger. Heili has never quite managed to crack the top 15 at bantamweight but could be on the cusp of earning a ranking for the first time.
Yahya (28-11-1) is a veteran of 20 UFC fights and faced the likes of Norifumi Yamamoto and Gesias Cavalcante when competing in Japan at the start of the century. The Brazilian is coming off a stoppage loss to Montel Jackson at UFC Vegas 71.
A QUICK NIGHT IN THE OFFICE FOR ALATENGHEILI!!! 😤
— UFC (@ufc) April 16, 2022
Heili’s training partner Aoriqileng will also be on the card. He has been matched with Johnny Muñoz Jr in a bout between two bantamweights coning off losses.
Aoriqileng (24-10) was stopped in the opening round by Aiemann Zahabi at UFC 289 in June. He has been handed a quick turnaround but needs to get back to winning ways after losing three of his five fights inside the octagon.
Muñoz Jr dropped a decision to Daniel Santos at UFC Vegas 74. He finds himself in an identical situation to his opponent with three losses and two wins from his last five fights.
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As previously announced a strawweight fight between Kanako Murata and Vanessa Demopoulos has been confirmed for the UFC Vegas 80 card. The two will face off at the Apex Centre on October 7th.
Murata saw her eight fight winning streak snapped at UFC Vegas 29 in 2021. While her record was blemished by the defeat to Virna Jandiroba the 29 year old earned praise for showing incredible heart.
Her arm was dislocated by an armbar late in the second round. Not only did Murata refuse to tap but she wanted to continue fighting with the doctor eventually forced to step in and stop her coming out for the second round.
Demopoulos has three wins from her five UFC fights. She is a former LFA strawweight champion while Murata held the Invicta FC 115lbs title before signing with the UFC.
The American is a BJJ black belt who also competes regularly in submission grappling. If the fight goes to the ground she will surely be looking to target Murata’s arm after such a well publicized injury.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) June 19, 2021
Best of the rest
The card looks set to be headlined by a lightweight title fight between two experienced American fighters. The entertaining Drew Dober (26-12) is taking on former WSOF featherweight champion Ricky Glenn (22-7-2).
In the bantamweight division Chris Gutiérrez (19-4-2) takes on Montel Jackson (13-2). The latter is coming off a highlight reel finish of Yahya at UFC Vegas 71.