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Joe Soto
Born March 22, 1987 (1987-03-22) (age 22)
Porterville, California
Other names The Hammer
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Weight 145 lb (66 kg; 10.4 st)
Style Wrestling
Fighting out of Santa Rosa, California
Team Nor-Cal Fighting Alliance
MMA record
Total 8
Wins 8
By knockout 3
By submission 4
By decision 1
Losses 0
Draws 0

Joesph Angel Soto (born March 22, 1987 in Porterville, California) is a American professional mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter. Soto is currently signed under the Bellator Fighting Championships promotion and is the featherweight champion. Though he is currently unranked, has him listed as a contender.[1]



At the time Soto was born, the fourth son, his parents were struggling economically, with his father working as a garbage man and his mother as a house cleaner.[2] Soto grew up in a very religious Pentecostal family, attending church with his family weekly.

Soto got an athletic scholarship to Iowa Central Community College. There Soto wrestled with Jon Jones and Cain Velasquez. Soto and Jones were also roommates during there freshmen and sophomore year.[3]

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 four and zero record before getting signed to Bellator Fighting Championships.


Bellator Fighting Championships

Soto joined Bellator Fighting Championships by entering their featherweight tournament. He made his debut defeating Ben Greer at Bellator 1. In Soto's last fight which took place May 8 at Bellator 6 he dominated Wilson Reis from the opening bell with impeccable takedown defense and superior striking. A Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, and the only Elitexc featherweight champion Wilson Reis could never get the fight to the ground. Soto's advanced to the Bellator featherweight finals and took on Yahir Reyes.[4] Soto won the fight by submission in the second round and became the first Bellator featherweight champion. His Entrance music for Bellator 10, was Eminem, Lose Yourself.

What many fans don't know is 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.[5]

Soto will defend his title at the end of the second season, taking on the winner of the featherweight tournament.[6] Besides waiting till the end of the season to fight, Soto may fight in other small organizations as long as it is signed off by Bellator.[7]

Mixed Martial Arts Record

Result Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win United States Mike Christensen Submission (Gogoplata) Tachi Palace Fights 1: Most Wanted 02009-10-08 October 8, 2009 1 2:06 United States Lemoore, California
Win Mexico Yahir Reyes Submission (Rear Naked Choke) Bellator 10 02009-06-05 June 5, 2009 2 4:11 United States Ontario, California Became First FW Champion
Win Brazil Wilson Reis Decision (Unanimous) Bellator 6 02009-05-08 May 8, 2009 3 5:00 United States Robstown, Texas FW Semi-Final Tournament Bout
Win Canada Ben Greer TKO (Punches) Bellator 1 02009-04-03 April 3, 2009 1 3:40 United States Hollywood, Florida FW Quarter-Final Tournament Bout
Win United States Anthony Luna Submission (Kimura) Gladiator Challenge 86: Day of the Dead 02008-11-02 November 2, 2008 1 0:33 United States Miami, Florida
Win United States Brandon Jinnies TKO (Punches) Palace FC 10: Explosive 02008-09-26 September 26, 2008 1 0:59 United States Lemoore, California
Win United States Darren Crisp Submission (Kneebar) Palace FC 9: The Return 02008-07-18 July 18, 2008 1 1:08 United States Lemoore, California
Win United States Jared Williams TKO (Strikes) Gladiator Challenge 53: Hell Storm 02006-07-16 July 16, 2006 1 3:26 United States Porterville, California


External links

New championship 1st Bellator Featherweight Championship
June 6, 2009 - Current
Succeeded by


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