Joe SotoIt seems like every time former Bellator featherweight champion Joe Soto gets a little momentum, something happens to derail him.

Most recently, Soto picked up back-to-back wins in 2012, but a nagging injury finally caused him to take what has amounted to nearly a year and a half off from fighting.

Still, Soto has used the time to further his career outside the cage and improve himself as a fighter.

“I had to take some time off because I had another surgery on my eye,” he said. “I moved back to my hometown of Porterville (Calif.) and I opened my own gym and have been coaching there. I’ve been training with a lot of guys from the valley like Cody Gibson, Issac DeJesus, going around gym to gym training. I needed the break for my eye, but I always intended to come back to fighting.”

When it comes to now being the head of his own gym, Soto told MMAWeekly.com that he enjoys the experience and that he felt it was necessary as he moves further into his career.

“It’s something that I wanted to do when I was done fighting, so I kind of wanted to get on it now, especially with my eye injury,” he said. “It’s good to have some other incoming other than fighting.”

Now that he is healthy and has things in order, Soto (11-2) is set to return to fighting at Tachi Palace Fights 17 on Thursday against CageSport champion Cory Vom Baur (6-2).

“It’s an interesting match-up because he’s good where I’m good too,” said Soto of Vom Baur. “On paper, he might even be a better wrestler; on paper I might be better in jiu-jitsu because I’m a brown belt. I feel like I’m better everywhere than most of these guys. I haven’t seen much video on him, so I’m not sure how things will go, but I’m real confident in my abilities.”

Soto feels that he will be an even better fighter this time out compared to his last fight in 2012.

“You might see something a little bit different,” he said. “I feel like I’ve gotten better every year.

“When I got into Bellator, I was still young in my career, and now I feel I’m technically better than ever. Every time I fight I feel like I get better, so I’m excited for this fight.”

Hopefully with injury problems behind him, Soto is look to make one of his longtime goals come true in 2014.

“I’ve had a few fights since the Eddie Yagin loss, and I won both of them, and I’m healthy now and ready to start accomplishing my dreams,” said Soto.

“One of those dreams is to fight in the UFC, and now that I’m released from Bellator, I can pick up a couple victories and some nice finishes, and hopefully I can get in there.”

view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

For Caros Fodor, Fighting His Brother at WSOF 32 is a Chance to Settle Their Differences

  • 27 days ago
  • 19 views

Caros Fodor fights his brother at WSOF 32 on Saturday. He sees it as a chance for them to "get things back to normal after we beat the crap out of each other.” read news >>

UFC 201 Fighter Bonuses: Jake Ellenberger, Other Main Carders, Take Top Honors

  • 26 days ago
  • 14 views

Jake Ellenberger led the charge as the top three fights at UFC 201 scooped up the $50,000 post-fight bonuses. read news >>

Gerald Meerschaert Replaces Joe Riggs in Valor Fights 36 Main Event

  • 23 days ago
  • 13 views

With Joe Riggs forced out of his main event bout against Sidney Wheeler at Valor Fights 36 due to injury, Valor Fights has found a replacement. read news >>

Sid Wheeler Not Rattled by Late-Notice Change for Valor Fights 36

  • 17 days ago
  • 4 views

Sid Wheeler was looking forward to fighting UFC vet Joe Riggs at Valor Fights 36, but a late-notice change of opponent won't shake him. read news >>

Eddie Alvarez determined to make a difference as champ

  • 16 days ago
  • 0 views

Eddie Alvarez is already giving back to the Philadelphia community as he hopes to inspire young people and others to strive for their dreams. Alvarez won the UFC lightweight title against Rafael Dos read news >>

Tanner Saraceno Looks to Start a Winning Streak in Valor Fights Debut

  • 15 days ago
  • 5 views

After suffering a loss in his pro debut, Tanner Saraceno will look to pick up his second straight win when he makes his Valor Fights debut on Saturday. read news >>

UFC's Era of Money (and Moneyweight) Fights Has Begun, and There's No Going Back

  • 15 days ago
  • 23 views

Shortly after Michael Bisping realized his career-long goal of capturing the UFC middleweight championship, the question of who he might fight next followed. It is a simple and obvious one, almost ma read news >>

Olympic Judo Gold Medalist Says MMA Fights are Booked by ‘How Pretty You Are’

  • 14 days ago
  • 241 views

Olympic gold medalist Kayla Harrison has an opinion of how MMA fights are booked. read news >>

CJ Hamilton Excited to Fight for the Valor Fights Flyweight Championship

  • 13 days ago
  • 5 views

Hamilton (8-4) will look to add to his current winning streak when he takes on Cody Gabelman in a 125-pound championship co-main event bout at Valor Fights 36. read news >>

Cody Gabelman Looking to Finish CJ Hamilton on the Ground at Valor Fights 36

  • 13 days ago
  • 5 views

Cody Gabelman will look to pick up his third win a row when he takes on CJ Hamilton for the Valor Fights 125-pound championship. read news >>