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UFC Fight Night 29: Fabio Maldonado Vs. Joey Beltran

Fabio Maldonado vs. Joey Beltran

This one has quick finish written all over it, as Fabio Maldonado (19-6) takes on Joey Beltran (14-8). Combined these two have 23 finishes in their careers, including 12 by Maldonado. Mario Yamasaki receives the draw for this one.

Round 1: Beltran a flurry, but it’s Maldonado that lands the more powerful strike. That could be the template for this one. Break in the action after a low blow, which we haven’t had a lot of tonight. Beltran with a combo, and goes for a takedown, but gets denied. Beltran working the neck and is able to gain the advantage inside the clinch. Big shot to the body by Beltran, who is wearing on Maldonado. Beltran continuing to grind away, and there’s the power of Maldonado, who lands a left. Maldonado allows the takedown by grabbing the head, but he isn’t able to get it and quickly gets back to his feet.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Beltran

Round 2: Maldonado finding his groove with his jab, working to keep Beltran from getting in close. Beltran fires back with some outside leg kicks. And, we are back against the fence, a place where Beltran has lived and dominated. Again, like the end of the first, Maldonado lays against the fence and tells Beltran to attack – which he does. Beltran goes elbow, elbow, knee to the body. Beltran is just picking him apart, but maybe that is the plan for Maldonado; to tire him out. Now, Maldonado finding his range again, landing some heavy lefts that are doing damage. Uppercut by Maldonado followed by a left jab, and the crowd senses something in the final moments. Beltran flinching from taking the action to another level.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Beltran

Round 3: Maldonado looks like he must be down on the scorecards, coming right out after Beltran. He’s using his jab effectively, snapping Beltran’s head back. Big combo hurts Beltran, and Maldonado could be sensing the kill. He asks for Beltran to come after him, and he obliges. Beltran going back to the clinch, forcing his way up against the fence. Three minutes to go and Beltran might just be trying to survive and win, dropping down for a takedown but he’s unable to get it. The ref has seen enough and separates them fo rhte final two-plus minutes. Maldonado is talking to Beltran and continues to want him to engage. Maybe he should push forward instead of asking Beltran to. Just a thought. Low blow on Beltran causes a stoppage in the action. We are tied 1-1 in that department. Maldonado with a right and Beltran uses dirty boxing to back him up. Big knee to the body by Beltran and a front-headlock attempt that drops Maldonado as we go under 40 seconds.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Beltran

Fabio Maldonado def. Joey Beltran via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)