|Born||March 22, 1987|
Porterville, California, United States
|Other names||One Bad Mofo|
The Hammer (formerly)
|Residence||Santa Rosa, California, United States|
|Height||5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)|
|Weight||135 lb (61 kg; 9.6 st)|
|Reach||65 in (165 cm)|
|Style||Boxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu|
|Fighting out of||Santa Rosa, California, United States|
|Team||Nor-Cal Fighting Alliance|
|Rank||Black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Dave Terrell|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Notable school(s)||Iowa Central Community College|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
Joseph Angel Soto (born March 22, 1987 in Porterville, California) is an American professional mixed martial artist who most recently competed in the bantamweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. A professional competitor since 2006, Soto has also formerly competed for Bellator where he was the first Bellator Featherweight Champion and winner of their inaugural Featherweight Tournament. He is also the former Tachi Palace Fights Bantamweight Champion.
At the time Soto was born, the fourth son, his parents were struggling financially, with his father working as a garbage man and his mother as a house cleaner. Soto grew up in a very religious Pentecostal family, attending church with his family weekly. Soto went to Porterville High School in California where he was on the wrestling team. Soto got an athletic scholarship to Iowa Central Community College. There Soto wrestled with Jon Jones and fellow Mexican American Cain Velasquez. Soto and Jones were also roommates during their freshmen and sophomore years.
Mixed martial arts
Soto began training mixed martial arts after meeting another fighter who agreed to train him in his garage. Soto began training and took his first fight at a Gladiator Challenge event. Soto won the fight midway in the first round via technical knockout. Soto compiled a 4-0 record before getting signed to Bellator Fighting Championships.
In Soto's semi-final fight, which took place May 8 at Bellator 6, he dominated Wilson Reis from the opening bell with impeccable takedown defense and superior striking. Despite being a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and the only EliteXC Featherweight Champion, Reis could never get the fight to the ground.
Soto advanced to the Bellator Featherweight Finals and took on Yahir Reyes. Soto won the fight by submission in the second round and became the first Bellator Featherweight Champion. A few days before the championships, Soto cut his eyelid while wrestling during a warm-up and had to go to the hospital. Knowing stitches were not an option, he and his friends went to a beauty parlor to have the cut covered with make-up. While the doctor was inspecting Soto, his camp made sure to crack jokes and distract the specialist from noticing the cut over his eye.
Soto had his first title defense in the third season, taking on the winner of the Season Two Featherweight Tournament, Joe Warren. Following a dominant first round Soto was knocked unconscious by Warren at 0:33 of the second round. In the fight, Soto suffered a detached retina and was forced to stay away from fighting for nearly a year.
Bellator promoter, Bjorn Rebney, stated that Soto was eligible to drop down a weight class for Bellator's Season Five Bantamweight Tournament with a win at Tachi Palace Fights 10. Soto lost to Eddie Yagin by first-round submission, and was replaced in the tournament. After the loss to Yagin, Soto was released from his Bellator contract.
Tachi Palace Fights
In January 2012 Soto picked up a win over Chris David and was signed to fight for Tachi Palace Fights. Soto fought his first TPF fight on May 10, 2012 against former WEC fighter, Chad George. Soto won the fight via second-round submission.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
In August 2014 Soto signed a deal with the UFC.
Soto was expected to face Anthony Birchak on August 30, 2014 at UFC 177. However, the day of the weigh-ins, Renan Barão had to be admitted to the hospital as a result of his attempts to cut weight. Soto stepped up and faced champion T.J. Dillashaw in the main event. He lost the fight via knockout in the fifth round.
Soto was tabbed as a short notice replacement to face Marco Beltrán in a catchweight bout on November 5, 2016 at The Ultimate Fighter Latin America 3 Finale. He won the fight via submission in the first round.
Soto faced Iuri Alcântara on February 3, 2018 at UFC Fight Night 125. The bout with Alcântara marks the last fight of Soto's current four-fight contract with UFC. He lost the fight via TKO due to strikes in the first round.
On August 28, 2018, it was reported that Soto was released by UFC.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
On August 15, 2015 Soto competed in EBI 4 (The Bantamweights).
Soto entered the competition as an underdog, his first bout was against Eddie Fyvie. Soto won the bout via heel hook in the opening round
Soto then progressed into the quarterfinals, where he faced 2 time EBI champion Geo Martinez. He won the bout via quickest escape time during overtime.
Soto then progressed into the semifinals, where he faced Joao Miyao (another world-class opponent). He won the bout via quickest escape time during overtime.
Soto then progressed to the finals, where he faced leg lock specialist and favourite of the competition Eddie Cummings. Soto defended many of Cummings' leg lock attempts for several minutes until finally succumbing to a heel hook.
Championships and accomplishments
Mixed martial arts
- Tachi Palace Fights
- TPF Bantamweight Championship (One time)
- Bellator Fighting Championships
- National Junior College Athletic Association
- National High School Coaches Association
- NHSCA Senior All-American (2005)
- California Interscholastic Federation
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|25 matches||18 wins||7 losses|
|Loss||18–7||Iuri Alcântara||TKO (body kick and punches)||UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Anders||February 3, 2018||1||1:06||Belém, Brazil|
|Loss||18–6||Brett Johns||Submission (calf slicer)||The Ultimate Fighter: A New World Champion Finale||December 1, 2017||1||0:30||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||18–5||Rani Yahya||Decision (unanimous)||UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Gastelum||March 11, 2017||3||5:00||Fortaleza, Brazil|
|Win||17–5||Marco Beltrán||Submission (heel hook)||The Ultimate Fighter Latin America 3 Finale: dos Anjos vs. Ferguson||November 5, 2016||1||1:37||Mexico City, Mexico||Catchweight (140 lbs) bout.|
|Win||16–5||Chris Beal||Submission (rear-naked choke)||UFC Fight Night: MacDonald vs. Thompson||June 18, 2016||3||3:39||Ottawa, Ontario, Canada|
|Loss||15–5||Michinori Tanaka||Decision (split)||UFC 195||January 2, 2016||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Loss||15–4||Anthony Birchak||KO (punches)||UFC Fight Night: Boetsch vs. Henderson||June 6, 2015||1||1:37||New Orleans, Louisiana, United States|
|Loss||15–3||T.J. Dillashaw||KO (head kick and punches)||UFC 177||August 30, 2014||5||2:20||Sacramento, California, United States||For the UFC Bantamweight Championship.|
|Win||15–2||Terrion Ware||Submission (north-south choke)||Tachi Palace Fights 20||August 7, 2014||3||2:48||Lemoore, California, United States|
|Win||14–2||Jeremiah Labiano||TKO (doctor stoppage)||Tachi Palace Fights 18||February 6, 2014||3||4:16||Lemoore, California, United States||Won the vacant TPF Bantamweight Championship.|
|Win||13–2||Cory Vom Baur||Submission (guillotine choke)||Tachi Palace Fights 17||November 14, 2013||1||4:36||Lemoore, California, United States|
|Win||12–2||Chad George||Technical Submission (rear-naked choke)||Tachi Palace Fights 13||May 10, 2012||2||2:01||Lemoore, California, United States|
|Win||11–2||Chris David||Submission (rear-naked choke)||TWC 13: Impact||January 27, 2012||2||4:28||Porterville, California, United States|
|Win||10–2||Romeo McCovey||Decision (unanimous)||NFF: Norcal Fight Fest||October 15, 2011||3||5:00||Blue Lake, California, United States||Bantamweight debut.|
|Loss||9–2||Eddie Yagin||Submission (guillotine choke)||TPF 10: Let The Chips Fall||August 5, 2011||1||2:00||Lemoore, California, United States||For the vacant TPF Featherweight Championship.|
|Loss||9–1||Joe Warren||KO (knee and punches)||Bellator 27||September 2, 2010||2||0:33||San Antonio, Texas, United States||Lost the Bellator Featherweight World Championship.|
|Win||9–0||Diego Saraiva||TKO (doctor stoppage)||Bellator 19||May 20, 2010||1||5:00||Grand Prairie, Texas, United States||Non-title bout.|
|Win||8–0||Mike Christensen||Submission (gogoplata)||TPF 1: Tachi Palace Fights 1||October 8, 2009||1||2:06||Lemoore, California, United States|
|Win||7–0||Yahir Reyes||Submission (rear-naked choke)||Bellator 10||June 5, 2009||2||4:11||Ontario, California, United States||Won the Bellator Featherweight World Championship.|
|Win||6–0||Wilson Reis||Decision (unanimous)||Bellator 6||May 8, 2009||3||5:00||Robstown, Texas, United States||Bellator Season One Featherweight Tournament Semifinal.|
|Win||5–0||Ben Greer||TKO (punches)||Bellator 1||April 3, 2009||1||3:40||Hollywood, Florida, United States||Bellator Season One Featherweight Tournament Quarterfinal.|
|Win||4–0||Anthony Luna||Submission (kimura)||Gladiator Challenge 86: Day of the Dead||November 2, 2008||1||0:33||Miami, Florida, United States|
|Win||3–0||Brandon Jinnies||TKO (punches)||PFC 10: Explosive||September 26, 2008||1||0:59||Lemoore, California, United States|
|Win||2–0||Darren Crisp||Submission (kneebar)||PFC 9: The Return||July 18, 2008||1||1:08||Lemoore, California, United States|
|Win||1–0||Jared Williams||TKO (punches)||Gladiator Challenge 53: Hell Storm||July 16, 2006||1||3:26||Porterville, California, United States|
- "Fight Card - UFC Fight Night Boetsch vs. Henderson". UFC.com. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
- joesoto135 (June 26, 2016). "@daveterrel promoted me to black belt today!". Instagram. Retrieved November 5, 2016.
- "Porterville High Alum Joe Soto". Retrieved Aug 12, 2014.
- "http://www.fiveknuckles.com/mma-news/FiveKnucklescom-Exclusive-Interview-Bellator-Featherweight-Champion-Joe-Soto.html". FiveKnuckles.com. Retrieved December 1, 2009. External link in
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-02-03. Retrieved 2010-03-13.
- "http://espn.go.com/blog/mma/post/_/id/1140/eye-injury-keeps-soto%E2%80%99s-future-cloudy". External link in
- "http://mmajunkie.com/news/23761/ex-bellator-champ-joe-soto-cleared-to-fight-targeted-for-tachi-palace-10.mma". External link in
- Thomas Gerbasi (2014-08-12). "Soto-Birchak completes UFC 177 card". UFC.com. Retrieved 2014-08-12.
- "Renan Barao out of UFC 177, Joe Soto meets T.J. Dillashaw for title". MMAjunkie.com. August 29, 2014.
- Dave Doyle (August 31, 2014). "UFC 177 results: T.J. Dillashaw knocks out a game Joe Soto in the fifth round". MMAfighting.com.
- Marc Raimondi (2015-03-18). "Joe Soto returns to meet Anthony Birchak at UFC Fight Night in New Orleans". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2015-03-18.
- Damon Martin (2015-06-06). "Anthony Birchak face plants Joe Soto with crushing first-round KO". foxsports.com. Retrieved 2015-06-06.
- Staff (2015-12-01). "UFC 195 gets change-up: Russell Doane out, Joe Soto in vs. Michinori Tanaka". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2015-12-01.
- Ben Fowlkes (2016-01-02). "UFC 195 results: Michinori Tanaka keeps submission-happy Joe Soto from first UFC win". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2016-01-02.
- Staff (2016-05-26). "'Kid' Yamamoto scratched from UFC Fight Night 89, Joe Soto now meets Chris Beal". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2016-05-26.
- Steven Marrocco (2016-06-18). "UFC Fight Night 89 results: Joe Soto scores comeback submission of Chris Beal". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2016-06-18.
- Shaun Al-Shatti (2016-11-01). "Joe Soto replaces Guido Cannetti, against Marco Beltran at UFC Fight Night 98". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2016-11-01.
- Ben Fowlkes (2016-11-05). "UFC Fight Night 98 results: Joe Soto takes out Marco Beltran in 97 seconds with masterful heel hook". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2016-11-05.
- Guilherme Cruz (2017-02-14). "Joe Soto meets Rani Yahya at UFC Fight Night in Fortaleza". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2017-02-14.
- Steven Marrocco (2017-03-11). "UFC Fight Night 106 results: With blood gushing everywhere, Joe Soto tops gassed Rani Yahya". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2017-03-11.
- Dale Jordan (2017-09-05). "Joe Soto vs. Brett Johns added to the TUF 26 Finale in Las Vegas". mmamad.com. Retrieved 2017-09-05.
- "TUF 26 Finale results: Brett Johns needs just 30 seconds to finish Joe Soto via calf slicer". MMAjunkie. 2017-12-02. Retrieved 2017-12-02.
- Staff (2017-12-21). "Local star, Iuri Marajó faces American Joe Soto at UFC Belem". sportvglobo.com. Retrieved 2017-12-21. (in Portuguese)
- John Morgan (2018-01-31). "Joe Soto to fight out contract at UFC-Belem, aims to continue octagon run". mmajunkie.com.
- "UFC Fight Night 125 results: Iuri Alcantara stuns, swarms Joe Soto for 66-second win". MMAjunkie. 2018-02-04. Retrieved 2018-02-04.
- "UFC releases one-time bantamweight title challenger Joe Soto". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 2018-08-28.
|New championship|| 1st Bellator Featherweight Championship
June 6, 2009 - September 2, 2010