Punahele Soriano
Story Time


Added to UFC roster after DWCS win
June 19, 2019
Soriano defeated Jamie Pickett via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26) at Dana White's Contender Series on Tuesday in Las Vegas. After the fight, he was one of two competitors to be awarded a UFC contract.
Soriano closed as the second-biggest favorite on the card (roughly -330) and certainly looked the part with a dominant performance. He was in tears after the fight, however, as Soriano believed he would not be awarded a contract due to his inability to get a finish. UFC President Dana White ultimately appreciated this mentality, proclaiming "I gotta have him" in his post-card interview. Soriano's track record to date also may have played a role, as he was a perfect 5-0 leading up to this opportunity, with a record composed entirely of first-round finishes. Even without a finish here, there was no doubt who won the fight. Soriano had Pickett backed up against the fence and in danger late in the first round, and continuously tagged him with one-two combos as the bout went on. It ended with Soriano in top position landing devastating elbows to the ribs of Pickett. Either the first or third round likely could have been scored 10-8 for Soriano. When it was all said and done, White determined the 26-year-old has what it takes to compete in the UFC, but now he has to go out and prove it again against higher-level competition.
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