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FORTALEZA, Brazil – It’s not like Joe Soto has never been cut open before. He has. But the gash he suffered against Rani Yahya was something entirely different.

“It’s the first time I’ve been cut like that really bad,” Soto said.

The cut, which was caused by an inadvertent clash of heads, caused blood to leak from the side of his head, making Soto’s hard-fought unanimous-decision win over Yahya  (23-9 MMA, 8-3 UFC) a messy and slippery affair.

The bantamweight bout was part of the preliminary card of today’s UFC Fight Night 106 event at Centro de Formacao Olimpica do Nordeste in Fortaleza, Ceara, Brazil. It aired on FS1 following additional prelims on UFC Fight Pass and ahead of the main card on FS1.

Soto (18-5 MMA, 3-3 UFC), a onetime title contender who now finds himself on a three-fight win streak, didn’t mind spilling as much blood as he did – and it was a lot.

“That one was dripping in my eye,” Soto said. “It’s mental. You just don’t let it affect you. I don’t think it did affect me too much. It’s a little bit of blood, just feels like water all over your face. Blood, sweat and tears. That’s what we put into this thing. That’s my sacrifice, is my blood, for this victory.”

A victory that Soto knew would not be easy.

“I knew Rani would be tough,” Soto said. “I thought I would do a little bit better of putting things together offensively. My defense was really good; I just got caught with the head butt. But I expected a tough fight. He’s a ranked fighter, a veteran. … I knew it was going to be a hard war in his home country.”

Check out the video above to hear more from Soto.

And for complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 106, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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