Punahele Soriano Beats Miguel Baeza By Unanimous Decision At UFC On ESPN 57

Punahele Soriano looked good in his first fight at welterweight tonight at UFC On ESPN 57 on his way to a unanimous decision victory over Miguel Baeza.

Round One:

Side kick to the body for Baeza to start. He lands it again. They size each other up and then Baeza lands that side kick again and then presses into the clinch, moving Soriano over to the cage.

A few knees exchanged in the clinch and then a shoulder shrug for Baeza. Now Soriano manages to reverse the clinch position. He drops to his knees trying for a double leg and Baeza counters with a potential guillotine attempt. Soriano takes him down anyway and steers clear of the choke.

Baeza trying for a heel hook here. Soriano counters by landing big punches, but Baeza is committed to the submission attempt regardless. Baeza staying calm here and taking his time. Soriano blasts him with a few more punches.

Baeza switching things up now and goes for a kneebar. Soriano manages to get his leg free though and starts blasting big right hands as Baeza is on his knees. Baeza manages to get to his feet. Soriano pressing forward and takes him down, then rams some elbows into his head when he gets back up just as the round is ending.

Round Two:

Front kick to the body for Baeza. Soriano with a punch to disguise a takedown attempt and gets his opponent down. Baeza goes to his knees and then rolls. Soriano stays on top though.

Upkick attempt from Baeza and Soriano counters with a hard punch to the head. Baeza trying to fish for a submission with his legs up, but Soriano is working ground-and-pound regardless. Baeza trying to kick him away.

Baeza again trying to set up an armbar attempt. Soriano standing and trying to get his arm free, which he does eventually manage to do. Now Soriano looks for payback with a series of good ground-and-pound punches.

Soriano working around to Baeza’s guard as his opponent goes to his knees. A few punches land for him. He lands a series of right hands. Baeza tries to stand, but gets dragged right back down.

Soriano stands for a moment and lands a knee to the body, then goes back down. An elbow strike lands just as the round comes to an end.

Round Three:

Solid body kick for Soriano. Low kick for Baeza. Soriano in on a takedown and lands it. He lands a few body punches to the weary-looking Baeza.

Soriano staying busy with hammerfists here. Baeza on his knees but can’t get away from his opponent as more hammerfists land to the head.

Soriano forces him to his back and and lands more punches. He settles into half-guard. Back to full-guard and stacks up to land a few body-head combos.

Soriano continues with the body and head combos, but not with as much power as earlier in the fight. Final 10 seconds and he just alternates between lefts and rights to the body until the final bell.


The move down to 170lbs proved to be a good one for Soriano tonight as he showed off a strong work-rate from start to finish, managing to get Baeza to the mat multiple times and consistently beat him up with ground-and-pound. He wasn’t able to manufacture a finish out of it, but nonetheless secures a convincing unanimous decision victory (30-25 x2, 30-27).

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