BARUERI, Brazil – Joey Beltran may be tired of spilling his own blood, but he had no issues spilling some of Fabio Maldonado’s. It just didn’t get him a victory.
In a fight that saw each fighter getting off his fair share of damage in the striking game, Maldonado did damage to Beltran’s body. Beltran did visible damage to Maldonado’s face. But it was Maldonado who got the split-decision win.
The light heavyweight bout was part of the main card of today’s UFC Fight Night 29 event at Jose Correa Arena in Barueri, Sao Paulo, Brazil. It aired on FOX Sports 1 following prelims on the same channel.
Beltran took the center of the cage early and peppered his jab. He looked for a takedown against the cage 45 seconds in. While throwing punches to Maldonado’s body, Beltran landed low and Maldonado got a brief reprieve. On the restart, Beltran tried to put together a combination and appeared to clip the Brazilian. He then tried to muscle his way to a takedown, but the fight stayed on the feet. After a short tie-up, Beltran again landed a good combination before tying up Maldonado’s neck. Maldonado briefly tried for a guillotine choke off a Beltran takedown late in the round, but it wasn’t there. The Brazilian waved Beltran forward late, trying to tell him any punches weren’t affecting him.
Maldonado appeared to get his hands working in the second and circled well to the outside. He then worked to both the head and the body 90 seconds in when Beltran tied things up. Beltran pushed him to the fence, and there, Maldonado landed a good uppercut. But he ate several elbows from Beltran, one of which knocked Maldonado’s mouthpiece out. The crowd responded as Maldonado put together some good punches in the second half of the round. The two swung wildly as the second came to a close.
Beltran walked through some of Maldonado’s good early punches in the third, then landed some of his own. But a minute in, the two tied up with Beltran trying to drop down for a takedown and Maldonado working shots to the body. A big right hand landed for Beltran with two minutes left, and Maldonado’s head popped back. The body shots continued for Maldonado as the two tied up, and then Maldonado caught Beltran low. Beltran took the fight down with less than a minute left and went after a front headlock and landed some knees on the ground.
Maldonado took the fight with a pair of 29-28 scores, while a third judge saw the bout for the road underdog.
“I didn’t come as close as I wanted to finishing the fight,” Maldonado said. “They say don’t let it go to the judges, but I don’t know how one of the judges gave it to Beltran.”
Maldonado (20-6 MMA, 3-3 UFC) won for the second straight time after snapping a three-fight skid in May. Beltran (14-9 MMA, 4-6 UFC) stays in the loss column and hasn’t won a fight, officially, since April 2012. He had a win over Igor Pokrajac overturned to a no-contest after a positive steroids test this past December.
Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 29 results include:
- Fabio Maldonado def Joey Beltran via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Rousimar Palhares def. Mike Pierce via submission (ankle lock) – Round 1, 0:31
- Raphael Assuncao def. T.J. Dillashaw via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Igor Araujo def. Ildemar Alcantara via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Yan Cabral def. David Mitchell via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Chris Cariaso def. Iliarde Santos via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 4:31
- Alan Patrick def. Garett Whiteley via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 3:54
For more on UFC Fight Night 29, check out the UFC Events section of the site.
John Morgan contributed to this report on-site in Barueri.
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