Daniel Roberts: Sherdog.com
UFC 125 has gained a showdown of once-beaten welterweight prospects, as Daniel Roberts and Greg Soto will square off Jan. 1 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Roberts confirmed to Sherdog.com on Monday that bout agreements are in place for the New Year’s Day tilt.
“I think it’s definitely a good fight,” said the 30-year-old Cesar Gracie pupil. “I watched [Soto’s] last fight and he kind of has the same style as me, a wrestling and jiu-jitsu guy.”
The announcement comes just two weeks after Roberts scored a blazing first-round anaconda choke submission over veteran Michael Guymon on the undercard of UFC 121.
“My last fight was only 73 seconds, and I didn’t take a single punch, so I wasn’t trying to take too much time off,” said Roberts, who added that he now feels ready to take on all comers within the Zuffa ranks.
“Not to sound arrogant, but my confidence is through the roof right now. I feel like I’m ready for anybody. I’m training with the best guys in the world at my camp.”
Both Roberts and Soto entered the UFC in March with unblemished records, and both suffered their first loss in their Octagon debut. Soto was disqualified for an illegal upkick in a UFC 111 fight with Matthew Riddle, while Roberts was knocked out by John Howard on the UFC’s March 21 show.
However, both men would bounce back in their next fights -- Roberts with a split decision win over Forrest Petz at UFC 116, and Soto with an upset of Nick Osipczak at UFC 118.
Roberts is a decorated grappler, a former All-American wrestler at Oklahoma’s Bacone Collage and multiple-time North American Grappling Association champion. Prior to joining up with Gilbert Melendez’s Skrap Pack in San Francisco, the “Ninja” racked up nine consecutive victories in Oklahoma, with only three of those leaving the first round.
Soto, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt under Kurt Pellegrino, cut his teeth on the New Jersey MMA circuit, where seven straight wins (including five stoppages) earned him the chance to fight in the UFC. The 24-year-old carries a record of 8-1 into his third Octagon appearance.
UFC 125 will be headlined by lightweight champion Frankie Edgar’s title defense against the only man to defeat him, Gray Maynard. The evening’s co-main event will see the first ever UFC featherweight title bout, as newly-merged champion Jose Aldo puts his 145-pound belt on the line against Josh Grispi. Elsewhere on the main card, the ever-scrappy Clay Guida will meet former Pride star Takanori Gomi, and Daniel Roberts training partner Nate Diaz will take on “Stun Gun” Dong Hyun Kim.