A bantamweight bout between Tachi Palace Fights champion Joe Soto and MFC champion Anthony Birchak has been added to the UFC 177 card. In a similar fashion to the UFC 175 card, two champions of the regional circuit will compete on the undercard of the pay-per-view, with both Soto and Birchak making their UFC debuts.
Joe Soto was victorious earlier this month in the first defence of his Tachi Palace Fights bantamweight title, defeating Terrion Ware via submission in the third round. Winner of his last six, Soto has wins over the likes of Chad George, Wilson Reis and Diego Saraiva on an impressive resumé.
On top of this, ‘One Bad Mofo’ was the first ever Bellator featherweight champion after winning the season 1 145lbs tournament, before losing the strap to current interim bantamweight champion Joe Warren. 15-2 as a professional, MMA fans have been calling for Soto to be signed by the UFC, and his latest win has earned him a shot in the Octagon.
After visa issues prevented him from entering Canada, MFC president Mark Pavolich granted his bantamweight champion Anthony Birchak his release. Dana White responded to the news on Twitter by following and talking with Birchak, and an agreement was reached shortly after to see the prospect join the promotion.
He will make his debut later this month after training for a title defence in October. 11-1 overall, Birchak has a win over current UFC talent Ryan Benoit and steps inside the Octagon on a five fight win streak. The 28 year-old has finished four of his last five fights, making his UFC debut with a heap of momentum.
UFC 177 is headlined by the UFC bantamweight championship fight between TJ Dillashaw and Renan Barao on August 30 at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, CA. The full card can be seen below, with the official order of the bouts yet to be confirmed.
TJ Dillashaw (c) vs. Renan Barao
Demetrious Johnson (c) vs. Chris Cariaso
Bethe Correia vs. Shayna Baszler
Tony Ferguson vs. Danny Castillo
Ramsey Nijem vs. Carlos Diogo Ferreira
Lorenz Larkin vs. Derek Brunson
Ruslan Magomedov vs. Richard Odoms
Yancy Medeiros vs. Justin Edwards
Ruan Potts vs. Anthony Hamilton
Scott Jorgensen vs. Henry Cejudo
Joe Soto vs. Anthony Birchak