Anthony Birchak (11-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) returns to the octagon to face Joe Soto (15-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) June 6th, 2015 at UFC Fight Night 68. The fight will take place from the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans. Both fighters were expected to fight at UFC 177 but when an injury took place to former bantamweight champ Renan Barao, the UFC scratched the fight and pinned Joe Soto against the TJ Dillashaw. Anthony Birchak will now have an opportunity to face Joe Soto. Anthony Brichak spoke to fiveroundmma on how excited he is to return to the octagon.
” Super excited to step back in against an opponent like Soto gonna try and curb my enthusiasm though so I don’t relive Phoenix lol”
Anthony Birchak was not able to face Joe Soto so he had to wait until December 2014 to make his UFC debut against Ian Entwistle in his hometown of Phoenix, AZ. Anthony Birchak came on the losing end being submitted in 64 seconds due to a heal hook. We asked Anthony what he learned from his fight with Ian Entwistle.
“Composure! I think I was so excited to get the takedown and get my hands on Ian that I made a rookie mistake that cost me my UFC win, I think this time around you’ll see a much more mature and poised version of myself.”
Joe Soto also is coming off a lose to TJ Dillashaw. Joe Soto got an incredible opportunity to face the UFC bantamweight champion in his debut fight. A win for Anthony Birchak over Joe Soto would be tremendous for Birchak’s career and he agreed.
” I want a chill to crawl up TJ’s spine and let him know he made the right decision fighting Soto that night instead of myself. An impressive finish over Soto shows that I’m right there at the top of the world with these guys!
The unusual thing about Joe Soto’s fight with TJ Dillashaw was that Soto was not ranked at the time and had been a sparring partner for TJ Dillashaw in the past. It will be interesting where Anthony Birchak is seen amongst the UFC ranking voters if he is victorious against Joe Soto.
” I don’t think top 10 but possibly top 15 or right outside it, Soto I think falls around 17 or so but let’s be real he got rewarded for losing the champ on short notice! How do you lose to the champion and get a top 15 ranking? He was supposed to beat you why get such high placement?”
Anthony Birchak has a point but I remember at the time Dana White trying to justify Joe Soto as a legitimate contender and how he took the fight on a days notice. I’m sure Anthony Birchak would have taken the fight as well for the UFC belt on a one day notice.
As Anthony Birchak prepares for the fight we asked him what is the most dangerous part of Joe Soto’s skill set?
“The lightning quick takedown is his saving grace as long as my reaction time and reflexes are working I think I got better hips and takedown defense. The way I see it Joe is a tremendous veteran in this sport, but, he’s done all he’s able to. He’s a multiple world champ, fought for the UFC gold and fell short and now its time I showcase my true ability and skillset and make my run to another championship. He doesn’t want this as bad as I do, I’m just getting started and it starts with the first footstep into the octagon on Saturday!”
Sounds like Anthony Birchak is feeling super confident and why not he too was a former champion! Brichak was the bantamweight champion for Maximum Fighting Championships. I asked Anthony how he predicted the fight to end against Joe Soto.
“It will end with my hands being raised and my name being announced as your winner! I can finish the fight but I don’t want that to cloud me just flat out getting the most dominating win of my career. Fight of the night written on it for sure though!”
We look forward for this fight June 6th 2015!