Though she had done well in the amateur ranks and perhaps was ready to move on to becoming a professional, flyweight Valerie Soto’s move up came somewhat unexpectedly.
As Soto explains, the right situation presented itself, and so it was time to move on.
“I wasn’t really looking to go pro so soon,” Soto told MMAWeekly.com. “The opportunity just came and we couldn’t pass it up. It’s a good opponent; we’re both making our pro debut; so it worked out.”
While her pro turn happened a bit sooner than maybe she had planned, so nonetheless feels her time in the amateur ranks will be a big help for her to make the jump.
“I think the composure has come from that,” Said Soto. “(Learning to) get rid of the jitters and all that. And by also getting an idea that every fighter is different. My first fight (opponent) was very crazy, then the next one was very calm, one was very technical – you have to be ready for everything and anything.
“In my first fight I was very shy to throw punches, and I couldn’t feel my range or anything like that, but now I think my striking has gotten better. My ground game has improved a lot. I’m prepared to go anywhere that a fight ends up going.”
This Friday in Dallas, Texas, Soto (0-0) will make her pro debut against fellow newcomer Cristina Crist (0-0) in a main card 115-pound bout at LFA 47.
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“I have seen (Crist) live, and I know what she’s about and what she’s going to do, but anybody can change that at any given time,” Soto said. “I just do my own thing, work on my own thing, and prepare that way for that.
“We’re actually very cool with each other. A week before we were offered the fight she came to my gym and we worked together. She’s been trying to go pro for a while, and she just was tired of waiting. We’re friendly with each other; I like her and she likes me; we’ll probably go eat together after the fight.”
Now that she is in the pro ranks, Soto is looking to stay as busy as possible and close out her 2018 on a winning streak.
“I’m actually looking at something in September,” said Soto. “I like to stay active. Even when I’m not fighting I train every day. I’m always on it. Maybe now that I’m a pro I might take it a little slower and get used to the pro level and different things and getting better.”