Sodiq had to make adjustments mid-fight to knock out Alex Caceres to earn a unanimous decision at UFC Vegas 50.
Yusuff was renowned for his striking skills throughout the fight. His kicks in the second round did serious damage to Caceres’ lead leg. Yusuff stuck with that strategy the rest of the way as he wrapped up the victory, with the judges scoring the fight 30-27, 30-27, and 29-28, all in his favor.
“I’m really excited,” Yusuff said of the win. It was great to be able get the mat time. I had planned to kick him to the arm with my plan. But his stance was too wide so his inside [leg kicks] could be heard during the fight .”
Yusuff was anxious to get started in his first fight back in nearly a year, attacking Caceres both on the feet and with his grappling from the clinch position. Caceres defended well, as he appeared willing to trade strikes while also looking to take advantage of any openings that Yusuff gave him battling for position against the cage.
Caceres used a lot of calculation to plan his moves. Yusuff was throwing punches with a high level of finish power. Yusuff began to add in some punishing leg kicks, which started to take a toll on his performance. Some of these put Caceres to the floor temporarily.
Aware of the extent of the damage done, Yusuff began to attack the leading leg. Caceres attempted to keep out of the way or to stay close enough to get more kicks. Even though Caceres were circling, Yusuff continued to dig into the outside and inside of the leg before he returned up with his punches.
By the end of the third round, Yusuff had connected with 40 leg kicks as he continued to chip away at Caceres’ foundation, which was really the difference in the fight.
Back in the win column following a loss to Arnold Allen in his previous outing, Yusuff is now targeting a step forward in the featherweight division — and he called out another top-ranked fighter at 145 pounds.
“I really want to test myself against Arkansas finest,” Yusuff said. I would love to face Bryce Mitchell .”