Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight Joey Beltran has been released from his duties with the promotion after losing to recent Strikeforce import, Lavar Johnson, this past weekend (Jan. 28, 2012) at UFC on Fox 2 in Chicago, Illinois.
The loss, which came in the very first round after "Big" delivered some brutal uppercuts that floored the "Mexicutioner" and forced the referee to stop the action, marked Beltran's second in a row and four out of his last five in the UFC.
Earning the reputation of being able to take damage and keep on trucking, Beltran became a fan favorite with his preference to bang it out with the best of them on the feet and never backing down from an all out brawl.
However, heart and determination were not enough to earn those much-needed wins to keep his place in the stacked UFC heavyweight division, as his 3-4 record during his stint with the largest mixed martial arts (MMA) organization in the world just wasn't cutting it.
Beltran broke the news to Fighter's Only just days removed from his most recent setback.
"I am truly grateful for all the opportunities that I have received from the UFC/Zuffa. I am not sad or hurt by their decision as I know that winning is the name of the game. Posting a 1-4 record my last 5 fights is unacceptable regardless of how entertaining the fights were. So this is the next chapter of my career, and one that I am excited for. You will definitely see my ugly face again so fans don't worry and haters keep on hating."
Beltran also sent out this tweet on his official Twitter account revealing he will be dropping weight classes:
To all my fans friends family and supporters I will be back better than ever at a new weight class! Don't worry about me At all!
Beltran made a successful debut at UFC 109 against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) black belt Rolles Gracie Jr. by defeating the submission wizard in the second round via strikes. He then followed up that performance with a unanimous decision victory over Tim Hague at UFC 113: "Machida vs. Shogun II."
His downward spiral began when he lost his next two bouts to Matt Mitrione at UFC 119 and Pat Barry at UFC: Fight for the Troops 2, both by unanimous decision. He got back on the winning track when he defeated UFC newcomer Aaron Rosa at UFC 131, but then ran into powerful striker Stipe Miocic at UFC 136 who earned a decision win against "The Mexicutioner."
Heading into his bout with Lavar Johnson, Beltran had yet to be finished inside the Octagon, displaying his iron chin against heavy strikers Barry and Mittrione, previously.
However, with 12 first round knockouts to his name, Johnson proved that, despite heading into the bout with two consecutive losses under the Strikeforce banner, he is still one heavyweight not to be taken lightly, by knocking out Beltran with six vicious consecutive uppercuts with thirty seconds remaining in the opening frame.
Any of you Maniacs surprised by promotion's decision to release Beltran? Can he string together a few wins at light heavyweight in smaller promotions to earn his ticket back to the big show?