The opening bout of the FOX Sports 2 prelims has bantamweights Chris Beal and Joe Soto clashing. Soto’s shining moment in the Octagon thus far was his last-minute fight against champ TJ Dillashaw, which he lost handily, but hey, he stepped up literally the day before.

Beal is fast, and though Soto has experience in his favor, he’s punching where Beal no longer stands and is absorbing four punches for every one he throws. Still, he pursues Beal in the first, forcing him to skirt the circumference of the cage and not set himself one percent.

Soto keeps up the relentless chase in the second, and it finally starts to bear fruit, with Beal getting tired and getting clipped with a punch that stumbles him. He unloads with more punches, which Soto encourages and returns, and when Beal ducks his head for a takedown, Soto transitions into a guillotine attempt. That turns into a scramble, and eventually Soto has Beal’s back. The horn sounds before any tap out can come.

Despite his success at the end of the previous round, Soto starts off the third eating a lot of punches that get him backpedaling and missing takedowns. But he remains undaunted, and with two minutes left gets both the takedown and Beal’s back. Beal tries to work his way out, yet the tap is inevitable this time.


Result: Joe Soto def. Chris Beal via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 3:39, R3