Beginning the televised portion of UFC Belem, Brazilian Iuri Alcantara earned his eighth career UFC victory at bantamweight with a first-round TKO win over Joe Soto.
Opening up the FS2 prelims, both fighters came into UFC Belem looking to get back to their winning ways. Coming off of losses in December of 2017, Iuri Alcantara and Joe Soto hoped for quick turnaround victories to stay competitive in one of the promotion’s toughest divisions. Featuring a solid champion, and a stacked top-10, the promotion’s bantamweight division isn’t a place any fighter wants to find themselves with back-to-back losses.
Brazil native Alcantara was hoping to rebound from back-to-back losses of his own. The losses to Brian Kelleher at UFC 212 and Alejandro Perez at UFC Fresno to close out 2017 gave Alcantara the first losing “streak” of his career. The 37-year-old has recorded 35 wins in his 45-fight professional career. He was 3-4 in the UFC since 2015 heading into UFC Belem.
Soto had been on a similar run, going 3-4 since joining the promotion in the summer of 2014. In his most recent outing, Soto was submitted in the first 30 seconds of the bout against Brett Johns. The loss, a calf slicer submission, snapped a three fight winning streak for Soto. He’s already had one title-shot, against current 135-pound champion TJ Dillashaw at UFC 177, and is working to get back into the title-picture.
A tentative first minute saw Alcantara land a strong leg kick to the body. Alcantara then stuffed the first (and only) takedown attempt of the night from Soto. Following the stuffed takedown, Alcantara landed a a front kick to the body, forcing Soto backward. Another strong body kick saw several hooks and a couple of forearm shots put Soto on the ground. Once knocked down, Alcantara finished the fight with impressively accurate head strikes from the top.
Alcantara finished the bout landing 25 of 30 total strikes on his way to a TKO victory a little more than a minute into the bout. The win ends the longest losing skid of Alcantara’s career. It also puts him back on the top-15 bantamweight ranking’s radar. The loss for Soto is his second in just more than three months.
Iuri Alcantara def. Joe Soto by TKO (strikes), Round 1, 1:08