Former Title Challenger Joe Soto Replaces ‘Kid’ Yamamoto at UFC Fight Night Ottawa

By: Tristen Critchfield
May 26, 2016

Onetime bantamweight title challenger Joe Soto will step in for Norifumi Yamamoto and face Chris Beal at UFC Fight Night Ottawa on June 18.

Promotion officials announced the change on Thursday. UFC Fight Night takes place at TD Place Arena in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and is headlined by a pivotal welterweight showdown between Rory MacDonald and Stephen Thompson. A reason for Yamamoto’s withdrawal was not revealed.

A Bellator and Tachi Palace Fights veteran, Soto made his Octagon debut in a 135-pound title bout against T.J. Dillashaw after original foe Renan Barao had weight-cut issues heading into the UFC 177 headliner. Soto lost that bout via fifth-round knockout and has since suffered defeats to Anthony Birchak and Michinori Tanaka in his next two promotional appearances.

After winning his first two UFC bouts, Beal went 0-2 in 2015, falling to Chris Kelades via split decision and Neil Seery by unanimous decision.

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