Mixed martial arts veteran Joey Beltran (16-11 MMA) made his middleweight debut at April’s Bellator 136 event, where he scored a unanimous decision victory over Brian Rogers.
“The Mexicutioner” is now set to face Kendall Grove in the co-main event of Bellator 143, which goes down September 25 live from State Farm Arena in Texas.
Beltran recently sat down with BJPENN.com’s Chris Taylor where he discussed a number of topics, including fighting at 185-pounds and his keys to victory against Kendall Grove. Here is what “The Mexicutioner” had to say on those subjects:
“I felt good at 185-pounds. There is honestly nothing negative that can happen to you, whether in life or in your career, by losing 20-pounds of fat. Sorry but there is not. That’s really all I did. It’s not like I depleted my muscle, or my muscle mass or my strength. I wasn’t weakened by the drop or nothing. If anything it just elevated my performance and my strength, power and athleticism to a whole new level. I probably should have done it earlier in my career (dropped to 185-pounds), but could have, should of, whatever. I just lacked the confidence in my skill set, especially in my wrestling and grappling earlier on in my career. You know, like everybody, I used to do some negative self-talk and stuff. But now I’ve really made some big leaps and bounds in terms of my mental training and I can look at myself and say ‘You know what Joey, you really are good.’ I’m just having a great time now and I really love this division. I’m just excited to make some noise and make a big push and start making some big money.”
Beltran claims that his new ‘fight mentality’ has opened the flood gates in terms of his potential:
“Like I said, I have made a lot of leaps and bounds in the mental aspect of fighting. I’ve always practiced, I’ve always had technique in the gym but in my earlier fights my self-talk would just be so negative. I’d be like ‘What the hell am I doing here? Why are you doing this Joey, this guy is going to f*cking kill you!’ Then I would go out there (in the cage) and just freeze. I’d get hit a couple times and then I would just react like we were back in the street and be like ‘F*ck this, I’m not going to get punked!’ So I would just brawl and it would produce awesome fights, but I was always so mad at myself afterwards like ‘Why did you do that Joey? Why didn’t you show what you have.’ Even in the last fight where I did great, I still know that I am capable of more. I’m just excited really, I feel like I’m opening the flood gates on these fools now and they are all going to get it! It’s going to be great.”
“The Mexicutioner” had a front row seat for Kendall Grove’s last fight, as he was in the corner of training partner Brandon Halsey, who defeated Grove via fourth-round TKO. Beltran touched on the Halsey vs. Grove fight and what he will have to do to defeat the scrappy Hawaiian on September 25:
“The keys to victory are to just be intelligent, not get out of position, be aware of my extremities at all times, meaning knowing where my arms, my legs and my neck are. I just have to put myself in my zones for success. You know, I have certain keys that I am looking for. I am confident that I can finish this fight anywhere, from any position. From my back, from the top, mount, side-mount, whatever the case may be, I have finishes in my head that I have rehearsed both physically and mentally. I’m just going to go out there be smart, hands up and chin down, get busy, he’s going to give me something and I’m going to take it!”
“Obviously with Halsey it was a little different. That’s what makes us such great training partners for each other, is that we are both beasts of a far different color. You know, we are just complete polar opposites of the spectrum in terms of strength, athleticism and what he wants to do and what I want to do. So I mean, did I see a couple things here and there in terms of mistakes Kendall maybe made, I mean yeah. But, he might be more likely to let his hands go and fire off combos against someone who is not an All-American division 1 wrestler. You know what I mean. But, on the other hand, he’s got to worry about someone who is going to be looking to take his head off and not take him down. So, it’s going to be a great fight either way.”
As for why fans should tune in September 25, Beltran gave the following response:
“Even if you are a brand new fan to the sport, just tune in to the channel and you will see two big brown guys full of tattoos, one guy will probably have a big shiny red Mohawk, and yeah who’s not going to want to watch that? It’s certainly going to look cool. It’s like we were casted for this fight. Like somebody said we need two ugly guys for a fight, ‘Go get Kendall Grove and Joey Beltran.’ And if you are an old fan or veteran fan, then you already know exactly why you should watch this fight cause somebody is getting finished. There is going to be blood, maybe some broken bones, you know something bad is going to happen. I also just want to give a quick thanks to all my coaches and teammates at both Alliance MMA as well as Huntington Beach Ultimate. It’s been a group effort and I can’t wait to put it all on display September 25! Tune in baby!”
Who do you have winning the Beltran vs. Grove fight at Bellator 143? Sound off Penn Nation!
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