Alex Soto has been around the world, and not due to his current profession of being an MMA fighter. Soto is a former member of the U.S. Army, having served a tour of Afghanistan. Now, along with balancing a career as a fighter, Soto also trains dolphins for the U.S. Navy.
Saturday night, Soto will make his UFC debut against Michael McDonald at UFC 139: Shogun vs. Hendo. The bout will take place on the Spike TV UFC Prelims special that airs before the pay-per-view event.
Soto decided his immediate future was to help protect the country he loved after the attacks of September 11, 2001.
“During the 9/11 attacks, I was scared, and it was a horrible feeling not knowing what was going on,” said Soto, in an interview with UFC.com. “We felt almost helpless, and I wanted to do something about that, so I joined the military right after I graduated from high school, and got to go to Afghanistan and spend a year out there, doing my part.”
After retiring from the Army and taking a job at Sea World working with dolphins, Soto moved into his MMA career. He is 6-0-1, having finished three of his fights via submission.
“I feel extremely lucky, No. 1 to be fighting for the UFC, because there are a ton of great fighters out there,” Soto said. “It’s an honor to fight someone of (McDonald’s) caliber, and I’m ready. I want to perform. I want to leave my mark in that fight.”