Light heavyweights Fabio Maldonado and Joey Beltran met in Brazil today at UFC Fight Night 29, with Maldonado taking a convincing, if not sloppy, decision victory.
“I don’t think I came as close as I wanted to finishing the fight,” Maldonado said in the post-fight interview. “But I think I did better than my last.”
Some back-and-forth exchanges opened up the first round, paused briefly for an accidental low blow in the clinch. Beltran looked to be getting the better of the stand up, pinning Maldonado against the cage and tagging him with short combinations. Beltran ended the fairly uneventful round with a takedown, landing his foe briefly in half guard.
The second round played out almost identically, with Beltran bullying Maldonado against the cage. Maldonado threw some stiff jabs, but did not seem to be doing very much damage. Beltran, meanwhile, landed some several dirty boxing strikes from the clinch, knocking Maldonado’s mouthpiece out at one point. The round progressed into a veritable slugfest, with both fighters testing each other’s chins.
The third round headed right back to the fence, with Beltran once again smashing his opponent against the octagon. More dirty boxing and a few heavy shots were interrupted by a low blow from Maldonado , seemingly returning the favor from the first round. A takedown attempt from Beltran closed out a fairly messy light heavyweight match-up.
When the judges scores were read, Fabio Maldonado took home a razor thin split decision with scores of 28-29, 29-28 and 29-28.