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Joe Soto regrets missed chance at UFC's first gogoplata finish


Joe Soto feels he was on the verge of earning a historic victory at UFC Fight Night 106 earlier this month. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be.

Soto (18-5 MMA, 3-3 UFC), who defeated Rani Yahya (23-9 MMA, 8-3 UFC) by unanimous decision in their bantamweight bout on the card in Fortaleza, Ceara, Brazil, said that with some slight adjustments he could have earned the first gogoplata submission finish to ever occur inside the octagon.

There have been multiple attempts at the maneuver, but no one has ever been able to fully lock in and force someone to tap out with the gogoplata. Soto believes he was as close as anyone to winning with the technique against Yahya but recently explained how a tactical error prevented it.

Perhaps the most memorable Gogoplata finish in MMA history took place at PRIDE 33 in February 2007. Nick Diaz defeated Takanori Gomi with the choke in the second round, but ultimately the result was overturned when Diaz was flagged for a positive marijuana test.

If Soto was going to put Yahya away with a gogoplata, the opening round would have been his best chance. Not long after, Yahya opened a nasty cut on Soto’s head, which resulted in one of the most blood-soaked UFC fights in recent memory.

Despite the massive gash, Soto fought hard against Yahya and earned a unanimous win on the scorecards, giving him his third consecutive UFC victory after starting on an 0-3 run with the promotion that kicked off with a short notice title-fight loss to then-UFC champ T.J. Dillashaw at UFC 177 in August 2014.

Soto earned his first two UFC victories by submission, forcing Chris Beal to tap to a rear-naked choke at UFC Fight Night 89 then putting Marco Beltran away with a first-round heel hook at UFC Fight Night 98. He would have made it three submissions in a row with the gogoplata against Yahya, but that’s not how it unfolded for the former Bellator champ.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 106, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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