When Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) booked Fabio Maldonado and Joey Beltran for UFC Fight Night 29, which takes place later this evening from Jose Correa Gymnasium in Barueri, Brazil, it's not hard to see what inspired the decision. Maldonado and Beltran are well-known for thrilling brawls in which they give -- and take -- inhuman amounts of damage.
And there's no reason to believe we'll see anything different when they clash on tonight (Weds., Oct. 9) on FOX Sports 1.
Maldonado, a former professional boxer, is known for his gritty brawling fight style. He's more than willing to take two punches to land one of his own, and he is capable of landing very powerful strikes. His boxing acumen is definitely overstated by people on UFC's payroll, but Maldonado is more than competent in that area and a real threat at all times.
The Brazilian's ability to make a fight ugly is second to none. And with the heart he brings to the cage he's not going to be stopped from creating a battle of wills. Maldonado will attack constantly, trying to make Beltran crumble with loaded shots to the body and head. He'll be on offense even if he's pushed to his limit, which is always something that gets fans out of their seats.
Beltran, meanwhile, has long been a fan favorite for his style, one that is very similar to that of Maldonado. "Mexicutioner" is slightly less active and perhaps a bit more measured, but he is very effective in brawls and is more than capable of holding his own in a tough fight.
Much like Maldonado, Beltran's game is almost exclusively punching, but in recent bouts he has also implemented a smothering clinch game. If Beltran begins to lose striking exchanges, expect him to put this to use just to get a short break from duking it out with Maldonado.
The only way this fight could turn out to be bad is if Beltran becomes a little too reliant on his clinch game. Ultimately, that possibility is very unlikely because event though Beltran has shown that he can use it effectively, Maldonado excels at making opponents uncomfortable at close range with short punches to the body and head.
Expect this fight to be highlighted by constant striking exchanges between two men who refuse to back down. Maldonado will be the one pressing the mixed martial arts (MMA) action, while Beltran will look to counter. This fight isn't going to be a game of cat and mouse because with Maldonado's suspect defense, you can be sure Beltran will back him up at some point.
There's not much to say about this Light Heavyweight fight other than that it will be a back-and-forth brawl. Don't expect model technique or incredible grappling because these two were matched up to deliver a crazy battle of wills, one between two men who know nothing else than to hit their opponents as hard -- and as often -- as possible.
In other words, expect fireworks in Brazil when Fabio Maldonado vs. Joey Beltran light up each other until one of them drops. And don't be surprised if it earns UFC Fight Night 29 "Fight of the Night" honors regardless of how long it doesn't last.