Sherdog.com confirmed Wednesday that Soto (Pictured) has agreed to fight fellow up-and-comer Michael McDonald at UFC 139 in place of injured veteran Johnny Eduardo.
Soto had been scheduled to face former Sengoku titleholder Masanori Kanehara on the same night, under the Xplode Fight Series banner in Valley Center, Calif. XFS officials announced Wednesday that Kanehara will instead meet onetime Soto opponent Brady Harrison for the vacant XFS featherweight title.
McDonald and Soto are expected to square off as part of the Facebook-streamed preliminary card to UFC 139, which takes place at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. The show’s pay-per-view portion is topped by a light heavyweight tilt between former UFC champ Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and ex-Strikeforce titleholder Dan Henderson.
With six wins and five finishes to his credit, Soto, 27, has made a name for himself in the fight scenes of Southern California and Tijuana, Mexico. The Team Hurricane Awesome product in June made his first trip to Japan, where fought to a two-round draw with Deep standout Seiji Akao.
Only 20 years old, “Mayday” McDonald has racked up an impressive 13-1 record in his four years as a pro. The former Tachi Palace Fights champ is a perfect 3-0 under Zuffa employ, with victories over Edwin Figueroa, Clint Godfrey and, most recently, Chris Cariaso.