A pair of Dana White Contender Series alumni will collide at a UFC event in June.
MMA Junkie was first to report that middleweight prospects Anthony Hernandez and Punahele Soriano will fight on June 26 at a yet-to-be-announced UFC event. Both fighters would later confirm the booking on social media.
Soriano (8-0) returned from a year on the shelf with injuries in a devastating fashion. He knocked out Duško Todorović to kick off UFC’s partnership with ABC in January. The Hawaiian is two fights into his UFC career and has continued his first-round knockout streak, something he has done in seven of his eight fights.
Hernandez (7-2) is also coming off a fantastic win. In February, he weathered the storm against four-time Brazilian Jiu Jitsu world champion Rodolfo Vieira and pulled the upset by submitting him in the second round. That win will be on many end-of-the-year lists. Before his stunning submission, he lost to Kevin Holland at UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Harris last May. “Fluffy” was originally scheduled to fight Soriano, but after Soriano pulled out, Holland stepped in.
Both fighters will look to continue to climb the middleweight rankings, and with a win, they could be in line for a ranked opponent next.
No location, venue, or broadcast plan has been reported for the UFC’s June 26 event. With the latest addition, the card now includes the following bouts:
- Anthony Hernandez vs. Punahele Soriano
- Ed Herman vs. Danilo Marques
- Ovince Saint Preux vs. Maxim Grishin
- Ike Villanueva vs. Marcin Prachnio