BREAKING: Anthony Hernandez Out of His Fight Against Punahele Soriano at UFC Fight Night on June 26

Published 05/26/2021, 7:03 AM EDT


UFC middleweight Anthony Hernandez is out of his bout against fellow Dana White’s Contender Series alumni, Punahele Soriano. Per James Lynch, Anthony Hernandez’s coach, Jim West, confirmed that ‘Fluffy’ had not recovered from a hand injury. As it stands, the UFC has called not looked at any fighter to serve as a short-term replacement against Punahele Soriano.

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The aforementioned scrap, scheduled for a UFC Fight Night card set for June 26, was the second booking between the pair. In the first booking, it was Soriano who was forced to withdraw, leading to the original cancelation. The second booking made headlines recently and came in via sources, however, the UFC never confirmed the bout.

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Both men are rising prospects in the weight class and are coming off impressive performances in their previous outings. What’s more, the middleweight division is a free-for-all in terms of new contenders looking to step up and make their mark. With an active champion like Israel Adesanya constantly clearing out the division, there’s always room to make a meaningful run.

UFC prospect round-up: Anthony Hernandez and Punahele Soriano

‘Fluffy’ Hernandez pulled off a show-stopping victory over Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace Rodolfo Vieira in his last fight. Vieira, who was undefeated in MMA, had a storied background as a multiple-time ADCC world champion. The over-under on him being tapped out was slim to none. However, Anthony Hernandez stunned everyone.

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At 8-2, Anthony Hernandez has suffered a couple of setbacks, notably falling to star middleweight Kevin Holland. However, he’s shown a sense of urgency in his UFC run that has been backed up by some gutsy moves in the cage. Facing another undefeated name like Soriano would have been a great opportunity for him to make his mark.

Punahele Soriano may have had some snags on his way to the cage, but once he started actively competing, he hasn’t looked back. The undefeated fighter, riding two straight T/KO wins in the UFC, is clearly a formidable force. Soriano showed that his hands are laced with Semtex when he brutally stopped Dusko Todorovic in his last outing.

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Darryl Pinto

1636 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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