In making his jump to the UFC in 2014, there were admittedly growing pains for bantamweight Joe Soto.
Having previously been on a six-fight winning streak prior to joining the UFC, Soto proceeded to lose his first three bouts for the company. Luckily for Soto, he was able to right himself and has since won his last three bouts, including a unanimous decision victory over Rani Yahya at UFC Fight Night 106 in March.
“I think I’m finally kind of getting used to the process,” Soto told MMAWeekly.com. “Obviously, getting over that (TJ) Dillashaw knockout mentally was kind of hard to get back from. That was a process getting over that, then getting that first win, and then getting used to the process of the UFC.
“I went down to Colin Oyama’s and trained there for my last free fights and it got me back on track. Things are going good. I feel strong again and I’m used to the UFC process.”
Going through prolonged up and downs is nothing new for Soto. As he explains this isn’t the first time he’s been able to bounce back from a losing streak with multiple wins in a row.
“I’m that type of fighter, I’m really streaky,” said Soto. “When I first started off I was on a nine-fight winning streak, then I lost two, then I got back on a six fight winning streak, then I lost three, and now I’ve won three. I think I had a lot of things to overcome, but I’m in a good place right now.”
Soto (18-5) will look to pick up his fourth win in a row when he takes on Brett Johns (14-0) in a main card 135-pound bout at The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale on Dec. 1 in Las Vegas.
“It could be an interesting fight, a tough fight, actually,” Soto said. “We have similar styles: we both like to grapple, like to take people down, and (Johns is) kind of a boxer like me. He’s a tough fighter too. It’s an intriguing match-up. I’m curious to see how it will play out.”
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After having just two fights this year, Soto is keen to be more active in 2018 and be ready for any opportunity, short notice or otherwise, that may come up.
“It seems like the last few years I’ve been battling little injuries and after every fight it’s taken some time to recover,” said Soto. “I don’t know if it’s because I gain weight right away and my body breaks down, so I want to stay active next year and stay in shape.
“Obviously putting in a six to eight week camp would be the best option, but if something intriguing or good popped up, I’d definitely be interested. I want to compete often. I’d at least like to get in there by February. If I can get in three next year that would be something I’d want to do, really.”
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