Punahele Soriano Finally Feels He Belongs

UFC News

These were the first two losses of Soriano’s career. And although a 2-2 start isn’t exactly what he hoped for once joining the UFC, these two fights served as the perfect experience to test himself against high-level opposition and make Soriano feel like he belonged in the promotion.

“I just feel like my mindset is a little different [since those two losses],” Soriano said. “I guess I’ve never really felt like I belonged before. I kind of just jumped in and was like, ‘All right, I’m here, we’ll see what happens.’ But now I know I belong, and I’ve been working like I belong and I’m ready to show it.” 

“I actually feel really confident coming off those two [losses]. If you look at my past performances, all first-round finishes, barely getting any experience. Now I got [two] whole [15-minute fights] … I feel confident. I know my cardio is where it needs to be and I feel ready to go.”

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Realizing that the UFC is where he hopes to be long-term, Soriano went to his coaches after his loss against Maximov looking for the problems that needed to be solved moving forward. Addressing the little things, foundationally Soriano is exactly where he wants to be, and his coaches believe that a little fine tuning can help push him to that elite level. 

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