UFC

Maldonado out punches Beltran

Fabio Maldonado punches Joey Beltran
Fabio Maldonado defeated Joey Beltran by unanimous decision.
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Damon Martin

Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the sport since 2004. His work has been published in CNN, Bleacher Report, MMAWeekly.com, Yahoo! Sports, UFC.com and SportsIllustrated.com. He also co-hosts The Great Debate Radio MMA podcast, and has appeared on ESPN Radio and SportsNet Radio. Follow him on Twitter.

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It seems every time Fabio Maldonado is in a fight he exits the Octagon looking like he's about to audition for a role on The Walking Dead, but his style is effective and still gets him wins.

On Wednesday night, Maldonado faced a fellow slugger in Joey Beltran and while the two fighters rarely engaged in pure fisticuffs or ever really threw caution to the wind and just launched punches at each others heads, it was still a battle on the inside like two lineman battling for position on the goal line.

Maldonado is known for his striking proficiency from his previous occupation as a boxer, and he used that skill set well when ripping punches to Beltran's body repeatedly over the course of three rounds. Beltran wasn't going to be deterred, however, and fired back with his fists landing on Maldonado's face while blood coated his nose and mouth.

The volume of strikes seemed to be the difference in the end with Maldonado just inviting Beltran into the clinch against the cage while he peppered away with short punches and digging his knuckles into his opponent's ribs.

The judges were torn when it was over, but gave Maldonado the victory 29-28, 29-28 with the third official scoring it for Beltran 29-28.

Maldonado didn't agree with the final scoring tallies, but he still got the win, which is all that really mattered.

"It's like they say don't leave it in the hands of the judges," Maldonado said. "I don't know how one of the judges gave it to Beltran."

Maldonado (20-6) picks up his second win in a row after dropping three straight in the UFC, while Beltran drops to 1-4-1 in his last six fights and may soon find himself on the outside looking in with a cloudy future in the Octagon staring back at him.

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