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Former Bellator Champion Signs Deal With UFC To Compete This Month

ufc 177

Joe Soto, who recently won the Tachi Palace Fights bantamweight title and is a former Bellator featherweight champion, will make his UFC debut this month against Anthony Birchak at UFC 177.

Officials recently added the contest to the August 30 event from Sacramento, California and the Sleep Train Arena. In the main event, T.J. Dillashaw defends his bantamweight title against Renan Barao.

Soto (15-2) is on a six-fight win streak that includes four submission wins. He choked out Terrion Ware on August 7 to secure the TPF titles.

Back in 2009, Soto defeated Yahir Reyes in the finals of the Bellator tournament to become champion. He dropped the title in his first defense in 2010 to Joe Warren, and also lost to Eddie Yagin in 2011 in Bellator.

Soto, who owns wins over Wilson Reis and Chad George, is a former roommate of UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones while the two were at Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Soto was a national runner-up and two-time All-American for the Tritons.

Birchak (11-1) was released from Maximum Fighting Championship recently after failing to receive clearance to compete in Canada. He has won each of his last five fights and is a former MFC titleholder.

Below is the current lineup:

UFC Bantamweight Championship
T.J. Dillashaw (c) vs. Renan Barao

Middleweight: Derek Brunson vs. Lorenz Larkin

Female Bantamweight: Bethe Correia vs. Shayna Baszler

Lightweight: Tony Ferguson vs. Danny Castillo

Heavyweight: Anthony Hamilton vs. Ruan Potts

Lightweight: Ramsey Nijem vs. Carlos Diego Ferreira

Lightweight: Justin Edwards vs. Yancy Medeiros

Flyweight: Scott Jorgensen vs. Henry Cejudo

Heavyweight: Ruslan Magomedov vs. Richard Odoms

Bantamweight: Joe Soto vs. Anthony Birchak