Report: Newcomer Tom Niinimaki to Face Rani Yahya at TUF 18 Finale

Riley Kontek@@BigRIlesMMAFeatured ColumnistOctober 8, 2013


The UFC signings keep on coming, this time in the form of Finland's Tom Niinimaki. It is reported that he is slated to make his UFC debut in November at the TUF 18 Finale against veteran Rani Yahya.

Niinimaki (20-5-1), who appeared on B/R's top 10 featherweights outside the UFC, makes his debut on the strength of an 11-fight win streak. The Finn has not been fighting scrubs either, as he owns victories over UFC veterans Walel Watson and Brian Pearman, WEC vet Chase Beebe and European staple Sergej Grecicho.

He doesn't like leaving his fights in the hands of the judges either. Niinimaki has seven knockouts and eight submissions to his resume, including a kimura of Watson, a rear-naked choke of Pearman and a brutal knockout of Johnny Frachey.

Niinimaki is just one of the great prospects being churned out of Scandanavia. As reported earlier, the UFC has inked Andreas Stahl of Sweden. He will take on Alex Garcia of Canada at UFC Fight Night 33.

This will be a huge step up for Niinimaki, as he takes on a guy who is arguably top 20 in the UFC. Yahya is a world-class submission artist that has beaten the likes of Mizuto Hirota, Mike Brown and Eddie Wineland.

In this fight, the Finn would be wise to use his superior standup against Yahya. Keeping his distance against a guy who owns 15 career submissions would be wise, as he is probably not on the level of Yahya on the ground. That's saying a lot, as Niinimaki has a good ground game himself.

Stay tuned with Bleacher Report as more news and signings come in. So far, it's already been a busy day.

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