In the first of two light heavyweight bouts on the UFC Fight Night 29 card, Fabio Maldonado was able to use his striking to defeat Joey Beltran by split decision.
At the beginning of the fight, Beltran attempted a takedown in the first sixty seconds and landed an illegal blow to the groin that paused the fight. Maldonado would be able to continue and Beltran would initiate the clinch against the cage.
While they clinched against the fence, Beltran was able to land several short strikes and briefly looked for a guillotine choke. After an exchange of strikes, Maldonado went for a guillotine choke but the attempt was unsuccessful and the fight moved into the second round.
In the second round, Maldonado wanted to engage Beltran into a brawl but Beltran would not give him his wish. Beltran would take the fight to the fence and continue to score with his short strikes.
The fight would be paused when Maldonado lost his mouth piece and referee Mario Yamasaki would start them back in the middle of the cage. Maldonado would begin to land his combinations and Beltran appeared to be slowing down as the fight moved into the third round.
Maldonado came out in the third round with confidence as he appeared to be the fresher fighter. He would land a right hand that would cause Beltran to look for a takedown. He would be unable to get the takedown and referee Mario Yamasaki would separate them.
Once again, they would clinch against the fence and Maldonado would land an illegal strike to the groin. Beltran would be able to continue and would get the fight to the ground against the cage. They would finish the fight in the position with Beltran ending the fight strong.
The judges would be split on the decision as two of the three judges scored the fight for Maldonado (20-6) and he has now won back to back fights in the UFC.
UFC Fight Night 29 Results:
Fábio Maldonado def. Joey Beltran via split decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Rousimar Palhares def. Mike Pierce via submission (ankle lock) – Round 1, :31
Raphael Assunção def. TJ 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 (strikes) – Round 2, 4:31
Alan Patrick def. Garett Whiteley via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 3:54