Fantasy Fights

Intelligent, unique MMA analysis

UFC Fight Night 29 Prediction: Joey Beltran vs. Fabio Maldonado



Joey Beltran and Fabio Maldonado are very similar fighters. They are both fighters who prefer to stand and strike. Neither of them is much of a threat to win by KO/TKO. Both have very questionable takedown defense. Both have terrible striking defense. Neither is going to be a title contender, either now or in the long run. Both can absorb a tremendous amount of punishment without being knocked out.

The one key difference between them is – Maldonado is a much better striker than Beltran. As much as Maldonado gets hit (4.47 significant strikes per minute), he still lands a good deal more than he absorbs. Maldonado lands 5.70 significant strikes per minute, a reflection of his high volume boxing-centered attack.

Beltran takes even more strikes than Maldonado at 4.72 per minute, and lands fewer at 4.33 per minute. These are two fighters who like to stand in the pocket and basically play a game of “rock ’em, sock ’em robots,” but Maldonado is better at it than Beltran is.

In a fight where the winner should be the fighter who lands more strikes over three rounds, it’s not out the question that one of them might try a takedown to “steal” a round. Neither fighter has very good takedown defense so it might work, although I don’t see the fight going to the ground for very long in any situation.

This has “Fight of the Night” written all over it. By that I mean it has the feel of a fight where both fighters are going to aim for a Fight of the Night bonus instead of employing the specific game plan that might lead to the greatest chance of victory.

It will be a fight where they stand in front of each other and blast away. There will be commentary about how tough both guys are since they will both absorb a lot of punishment. It will be the kind of sloppy brawl that excites fans – not that there’s anything wrong with that. I myself enjoy a sloppy brawl once in a while.

It’s not a relevant fight and it’s not a high-level fight. It will leave curmudgeons talking about how awful the techniques are, but it will be fun to watch.

Pick: Fabio Maldonado by decision


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