Mohammad Yahya faced Souhil Tahiri in UAE Warriors 37 headliner. A UAE Warriors Arabia lightweight title fight went the distance and the winner was rendered by the judges’ decision.
After a controversial finish to the Arabia flyweight title fight between Nawras Abzakh and Jonny Touma, fans witnessed a dramatic battle for another championship gold.
Mohammad Yahya vs. Souhil Tahiri
Prior to this fight, the reigning champion had an 11 – 3 MMA record. He entered a cage riding a four-fight winning streak. The Arab fighter successfully defended his title back in march. He achieved it by tapping out Moha Jaghdal. Now it was the time to defend it against a new challenger.
Tahiri stacked up a 5 – 3 – 1 record. The Algerian fighter secured three submission wins and two TKO finishes. Like his opponent, he tapped out on two different occasions. This could give the impression, that either of them could look for a submission win.
Mohammad Yahya vs. Souhil Tahiri: fight recap
Tahiri consequently occupied the center of the cage. From there he engaged in striking exchanges with the champion. Near the halfway point of the round, Yahya hit him with a punch, that knocked him down to the ground. The reigning champion followed him, trying to finish the bout with ground and pound.
However, the challenger was able to weather the storm and survived a barrage of punches and a slam to the ground. Tahiri managed to stand up and even pushed Yahya to the fence.
After some clinching the two resumed exchanging strikes. Surprisingly enough, this time Tahiri was the one to punch his opponent down to the ground. Unfortunately for him, there were 10 seconds left to the end of the round, leaving him no time to deal any serious damage.
This time both fighters were more cautious when it came to exchanging punches. Yahya managed to push kick Tahiri to the fence. The Algerian surprised his opponent with a sweep, reversing their positions. After some clinching Tahiri took Yahya down and even took his back. The champion, whatsoever, defended himself quite well. After some position switches and an unsuccessful takedown attempt, Yahya found himself in a guillotine choke.
His ground game prowess saved him from the potential loss. For the rest of the remaining time, both fighters tried to secure a dominant position, clinching one another next to the fence.
As was the case with the previous round, both fighters cautiously exchanged blows for the first two minutes. After some clinching and pushing one another to the fence, Tahiri found his way behind Yahya’s back. It now was the time for some grip fighting, which led to a takedown attempt by Tahiri. It didn’t pay off entirely, but the challenger managed to push the champion to the fence.
After some clinching Tahiri tripped Yahya down and once more found a way behind his back. The champion’s defense skills were up to the task as he not only managed to land in Tahiri’s guard but also punished him with some punches.
The fatigue was shown by both fighters, as they slowed down from striking combinations to single punches and kicks. Tahiri was even stepping back from the opponent but ultimately found himself pushed to the fence. This time around neither of them attempted any clinch fighting or takedowns. For the rest of the round, both of them exchanged some strikes and engaged in some clinching.
The pace didn’t pick up in the final outing. The fatigue of both fighters was easy to notice by the crowd and those watching the fight on UFC Fight Pass. After some strikes, Yahya attempted another takedown, which was easily denied by Tahiri. In the final 10 seconds of the fight, the defending champion shot for the last takedown. Which also was easily defended by the challenger.
Mohammad Yahya vs. Souhil Tahiri went the distance
Mohammad Yahya def. Souhil Tahiri via Unanimous Decision (48 – 47, 48 – 47, 48 – 47) and defended the UAE Warriors Arabia lightweight title.