Before Joe Soto goes for his third straight win in the UFC’s Octagon against Rani Yahya at UFC Fight Night 106 in Brazil on Saturday, LIVE on FS1, the former UFC title challenger sat down with MMA Mad.
Q: How did you find MMA in the first place?
A: I started as a wrestler. I started wrestling in Junior High. Even before that, my uncle used to watch old UFCs and I thought it looked really interesting. Then it became a little more popular and I kept track of it as it grew and got bigger. I watched The Ultimate Fighter, stuff like that over the years. There I decided I wanted to do it. After high school, I started training for it and after my senior year I was introduced to a friend of a friend training in his garage – so I started training with him. A couple of years later I got a fight.
Q: Did you fall in love with the sport right away?
A: Yeah, there’s just something about it – you know? I love the jiu-jitsu, the wrestling — the boxing took me a little bit to get used to but it’s all about the vast range of martial arts.
Q: How do you feel about what you’ve accomplished so far?
A: I feel good. My record is decent, I think it could be better. I was a Bellator champion, a Tachi Palace champion, I fought for the UFC title. I’ve fought some big names in the sport. I’ve got a lot more time to fight and I can get that UFC title – that’s the goal.
Q: How are you feeling going into your upcoming fight?
A: I’m feeling good. I’m on a win streak – two wins in a row – this’ll be three. I’m starting to feel like I’m getting comfortable now in the UFC. It took me a while to get used to it. I’m feeling good and I’m feeling sharp and I’m training with Team Oyama. He’s been working with me and helping me out with my style and developing some things – putting some things together. That’s one thing I wasn’t doing – putting things together and mixing things up. Being more fluid. I’m excited to go out there and perform and see what happens.
Q: What would you like to accomplish in 2017?
A: First off, just starting the year off with a win and continuing my streak. Continuing to climb the ranks and hopefully, I’ll find myself with a title shot or getting close to it by the end of the year.