Despite a three-fight losing streak in the Octagon, Joe Soto is getting one more chance to pick up a win in the UFC, as he’s stepping in for an injured Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto to meet Chris Beal at UFC Fight Night 89 next month in Ottawa.
The UFC announced the change late Thursday night, which keeps Yamamoto sidelined further after an already extended 15-month layoff. The former lightweight legend turned featherweight and bantamweight has fought just four times in the UFC since making his organizational debut more than five years ago.
Soto has had a similar lack of success in the Octagon thus far. The former Bellator Featherweight Champion wound up getting a shot at the UFC Bantamweight Title in his UFC debut when Renan Barao was forced out the day of weigh-ins for UFC 177. After his loss to T.J. Dillashaw in that fight, Soto was knocked out by Anthony Birchak in his next appearance before dropping a split decision to Michinori Tanaka in January.
He’ll get his chance to pick up his first UFC win when he takes on Ultimate Fighter 18 vet Beal, who has posted a 2-2 mark in the UFC thus far. Beal’s 2014 debut in the UFC kept his undefeated record intact, and saw him score a highlight reel flying knee KO over Patrick Williams. After a follow up win over Tateki Matsuda, Beal has dropped consecutive decisions to Neil Seery and Chris Kelades, and he returns here for the first time since August of 2015.
The UFC Fight Night 89 card hits Fox Sports 1 from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, on June 18, headlined by the welterweight contender bout between Rory MacDonald and Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson.
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