JMMA Lives!: Alex Soto talks about fighting at DEEP 54 (Exclusive Interview)

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Alex Soto is a name fans aren’t very familiar with yet, but he’ll be someone the people will recognize very soon. Born and raised in Tijuana, Mexico, Alex immigrated to the United States and joined the Army (Long Range Surveillance Detachment in Afghanistan) to give back to his adopted country in times of need after 9-11. After four years of service, Alex returned to his hometown of San Diego, and got a job training dolphins for the US Navy.

When Alex isn’t working with the military, he’s training in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts, and has worked with the likes of Trevor Wittman from Grudge Training Center. His hard work and discipline have helped earn him a 6-0 record (5 of his fights were finishes), a UWC Mexico Bantamweight title, and was profiled as TapouT Magazine’s breakthrough fighter of the month.

Soto is looking to take his career to the next level by traveling to the Land of the Rising Sun to fight Seiji Akao on the DEEP 54 card on June 24th. Here’s what Soto had to say in an exclusive interview for Community:

I understand it’s your first fight in Japan. What do you expect from fighting at The Land of the Rising Sun?
I expect a war with this guy! The Japanese are always ready to fight and are known as worthy opponents. I hope he has heard about Mexican fighters!

Your opponent Seiji Akao has 17 professional MMA fights on his record. Do you think his experience advantage will play some sort of factor during this fight?
Seiji has tons of experience going into this fight. But I don’t think he has ever fought someone like me. I will put the pressure on him.

Where you’re training, and who are your training partners? What kind of special preparations you did for Seiji Akao?
I train at the San Diego Combat Academy. My coach Manolo Hernandez and Team Hurricane are awesome. My training partners have put me through hell for this fight. I have been training with Walel Watson, Kevin Donsmoor, and our tough as hell Liz Carmouche! We are ready for anything Seiji has to offer!

You love to finish fights, while your opponent Seiji Akao has 10 DecisionVvictories on his record. Do you fear that this fight will be dragged into later rounds?
My last 2 fights were set for 5-5. I’ve been ready to go the distance every time. Finishing your opponents is always great but going the distance is part of the business. I always look to finish!

You served at Long Range Surveillance Detachment in Afghanistan. Do you think that by serving in the army you can become a better MMA fighter?
Serving in the army has given me a big advantage that most people couldn’t understand. It makes you mentally prepared for anything during tough situations.

Do you see any similarities between fighting your enemies on the battlefield to competing in Mixed Martial Arts?
I think it prepares you in the same way but it’s not the same. In battle you fight for the person next to you. He or she has your back and you can always count on them. In MMA it’s just you in there. Your team prepares you as best they can but at the end of the day it’s you against him.

What do you think about having a tournament between MMA fighters coming from military background? Do you think USA will win?
I like the idea of that! It would bring in a lot of attention from other countries. I think USA would have some big challenges but its MMA, so anything can happen.

What are your goals as Mixed Martial Artist? Do you think you’re ready to fight in the UFC?
I’m my biggest critic. It’s tough for me to say. Ask my coach Manolo Hernandez. I’m a fighter; my job is to fight anyone they put in front of me.

Would you like to thank/mention anyone?
I would like to thank my wife joy for being such an amazing wife! Alchemist management for working so hard on me, San Diego combat academy, grudge training center in Denver and my sponsors. Guard Ya Grill and Follow me on Twitter @sotomma. It’s going to be a war!