UFC 119: A Heavyweight Sleeper, Matt Mitrione Vs Joey Beltran
This weekend's UFC 119 card in Indianapolis is not a blockbuster event and has certainly suffered from a lack of big names and big fights.
The main event has switched from an intriguing rematch to an almost meaningless fight between Frank Mir and Mirko Cro Cop.
Win or lose, neither fighter will be making much impact in the Heavyweight division any time soon.
However, despite this, the event will offer some divisionally important fights in Evan Dunham vs. Sean Sherk and Ryan Bader vs. Rogerio Nogueira.
Plus a solid Lightweight scrap between Melvin Guillard and Jeremy Stephens and an entertaining veterans match between Matt Serra and Chris Lytle.
So despite the lack of appeal, this could turn into a solid event in terms of entertainment and exciting fights for fans.
When I began looking at the card though my attention and focus at this event has been drawn to a fight on the preliminary portion of the event.
Set to be shown on SPIKE, Matt Mitrione will take on Joey Beltran in would could be a slugfest.
Both are rising Heavyweight prospects who are 2-0 in the UFC and once a winner emerges from UFC 119 we could be looking at a future contender in the division.
Mitrione is the former NFL player and TUF alumni who is incredibly green in MMA terms with only two professional fights under his belt.
Despite his lack of experience Mitrione has shown huge promise and a real talent for the sport.
Both his wins to date have come by KO which demonstrates his growing ability with his hands and that the training with Patt Barry is paying off.
He is a good sized Heavyweight and has shown a real propensity for the game. Another win on Saturday and the future will be very bright for "Meathead".
On the other side of the octagon will be Joey Beltran.
"The Mexicutioner" is vastly more experienced then his opponent Mitrione with a record of 12-3 in spite of having the same number of UFC fights.
He defeated the woeful Rolles Gracie at UFC 109 and then looked solid in a win over Tim Hague at UFC 113.
With ten of his twelve wins coming by way of KO or TKO, Beltran has the power to end the fight on Saturday quickly.
But he is an undersized Heavyweight who really should be fighting at 205lbs if he actually cut any weight.
Whenever you get two rising prospects on the same path in a fight it is an interesting scenario.
For one the future will continue to look bright, for the loser it will be back to the drawing board in the constant efforts to improve.
With this fight being free on SPIKE, I highly recommend that you catch it and take a look at a future prospect in the ever-improving Heavyweight division.
This battle could very well be a sleeper fight on the UFC 119 card and could end up receiving a KO or Fight of the Night bonus.
For the record I will go with Mitrione. No detailed analysis, I'll just say that I have been very impressed with what I have seen so far and the high learning curve he appears to be on.
Mitrione vs. Beltran, what say you, fight fans?
Greg Parfitt is a Featured MMA writer on Bleacher Report and Columnist for HTRMMA.com.
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