Las Vegas, Nevada: Michinori Tanaka used takedowns and effective striking to score a split decision victory over Joe Soto. The official scores of the bout were, 29-28 Tanaka, 29-28 Soto, 29-28 Tanaka.
UFC 195 took place on January 2, 2016 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Joe Soto vs. Michinori Tanaka took place on the preliminary card which aired on UFC Fight Pass.
Round 1: Both men looked to find their range early on, with Soto offering out some early leg kicks. Tanaka is keeping his hands very low, looking for boxing combinations. Tanaka stuffs a takedown attempt at the three minute mark; Soto still applying the pressure regardless. One minute remaining, Tanaka scores a takedown, falling into the guard of Soto. Soto is applying a tight gogoplata however, and Tanaka is starting to breathe heavily. With twenty seconds to go, Tanaka escapes and both men finish the round standing and trading.
Round 2: Tanaka opened the second much more aggressively, throwing more combinations and trying to throw off Soto’s timing. Soto is forced to cover up and catches a high-knee, looking for an effective counter. Tanaka defends a takedown attempt, and reverses the position by throwing Soto back down to the canvas. As with the first round, Soto immediately starts to threaten with submissions, going for a guillotine choke, but nothing comes of the attempt. Soto attacks the leg, but Tanaka spins out and ends up back in full guard. More ground and pound for Tanaka to finish off this entertaining second round.
Round 3: Both men exchanged strikes during the initial minutes of the third, with Soto landing a few nice left hooks and taunting Tanaka, egging him on. Tanaka smiles, having no qualms with trading back as both athletes are looking to score the better exchanges. Tanaka lands a third takedown, and Soto is once again going for a guillotine attempt. The choke is lost, and both men return to their feet with one minute remaining. Tanaka is looking very tired at this point, giving up a takedown, and in the final seconds, Soto is looking for a rear-naked choke. However, the bell rings and time runs out. A very entertaining bout.
Official Result: Michinori Tanaka def. Joe Soto via split decision (29-28,28-29,29-28)
Bouncing back after his lone defeat, Michinori Tanaka improves to 11-1 as a professional. Joe Soto falls to 15-5, having lost three straight under the UFC.