MMA Odds and Ends for Wednesday: Joey Beltran Released From UFC

Joey Beltran UFC light heavyweight slugger and fan favorite Joey Beltran yesterday revealed on his Twitter account that he has been released from the organization. Here’s what Beltran wrote: “@mexicutioner760: Thank you to @ufc @danawhite @lorenzofertitta & #JoeSilva for the opportunities you have given me. Time for a new chapter in my fight life.” Beltran (14-9, 1 NC) went 4-6, 1 NC in the UFC overall, but since dropping down to the light heavyweight division, he went a poor 0-2, 1 NC with decision losses to Fabio Maldonado and James Te Huna and a win over Igor Pokrajac that was later turned into a No Contest when Beltran tested positive for PEDs. While I can’t say I’m surprised that Beltran was released, I have to admit there is one thing that stinks about this whole situation, and that’s that Beltran is getting cut off a controversial decision loss to Maldonado at UFC Fight Night 29. If you look at the website, which tracks the media’s scorecards, 11 of 12 media members scored the fight 29-28 for Beltran, and only one scored it 29-28 for Maldonado. Despite that, two of the judges scored the contest 29-28 for Maldonado and he ended up winning a split decision victory in his hometown. That’s the part that sucks for Beltran, and it’s the part that makes this whole cut stink. Yes, no fighter should ever leave their fight — and career — in the hands of the judges, but at the same time, the fighters should be able to trust that the judges are paying attention and are going to get the scorecards right. We’ve seen this time and time again, and every time this happens, it sucks. Look at Keith Wisniewski, for instance. Wisniewski went 0-4 overall in the UFC, but that last loss — a controversial decision setback to Ivan Jorge at UFC Fight Night 28 — should have been a W on his record. And yet the UFC decided to cut him anyways. I guess in the case of Beltran, the UFC didn’t like that he went away from his brawling style and turned into more of a grappling-based fighter, but I actually liked how Beltran was starting to fight smarter and use a gameplan to win fights instead of solely relying on his chin and brawling ability. Looking back, I wish the UFC had cut Beltran coming off his drug suspension last year instead of waiting until he lost to Maldonado to cut him. That’s the kind of thing the UFC has to start doing to send a message, but for some reason they never do, and they just wait for fighters who have been cut for PEDs to lose their next fight to cut them (or, in the case of Rousimar Palhares, until they screw up). Anyways, I’m sure Beltran will land on his feet sometime soon, and he might make for a decent addition to the Bellator light heavyweight division, but I just really hope the UFC starts to differentiate between when a fighter loses a clear-cut decision and when one loses via a bad call when it comes to trimming the official roster.

Written by Adam Martin.

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