AUSTIN, Texas – Dustin Stoltzfus beat Punahele Soriano with a second-round submission Saturday to open up the main card at UFC on ESPN 52 at Moody Center in Austin, Texas.
Take a look inside the fight with Stoltzfus, who pulled off the event’s biggest upset.
Punahele Soriano vs. Dustin Stoltzfus
Result: Dustin Stoltzfus def. Punahele Soriano via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 2:10
Updated records: Stoltzfus (15-5 MMA, 2-4 UFC), Soriano (9-4 MMA, 3-4 UFC)
Key stats: Soriano outstruck Soriano 78-33 on his way to the rear-naked choke finish.
Stoltzfus on the fight's key moment
“I really felt the pressure going into this one, being out for so long and just not performing super well in the UFC up until this point. It was really time for me to go in there and actually put in a performance that I can be proud of, and I think I did that tonight. I think while I always have room to improve, I think I finally was able to put it together and show what I can actually do – or at least a glimpse of it.”
Stoltzfus on the pressure of his layoff, skid
“I’m not sure if I stayed super confident (during my skid). I think that’s a lot of the problems that I’ve been having, especially after my first (UFC) loss to (Kyle) Daukaus. That really did a number on my confidence, just going in there and just feeling as sick as I did and as weak as I did (post-COVID). Then the next two fights that I came into, I was just trying to prove a point. I was trying to prove myself way too much, and it just didn’t work out. I put myself under way too much pressure, and just that mental and emotional fatigue caught up with me.”
Stoltzfus on what he wants next
“I really hope (I can fight consistently). I’m really tired of sitting out as long as I have been. Then every single fight feels like this huge new thing that I need to pump myself up for. Even aside from having COVID four times, I have not been having the best luck with my health. Hopefully that works itself out and I can be more active.”
To hear more from Stoltzfus, check out the video of the full post-fight interview above.
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC on ESPN 52.