We can thank Hollywood for names like Rocky Balboa, Apollo Creed, and of course Bruce Lee and for inspiring generations of moviegoers with their epic stories. What is it about two men fighting it out in the ring that inspires us so?
According to freebase.com, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is an American mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion company and it is the largest in the world. It hosts most of the top-ranked fighters and holds numerous events around the world. The U.F.C. has seven weight-divisions and uses the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts. Dana White serves as the president of the U.F.C.; Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta control its parent company, Zuffa, LLC.
Inspired by vale tudo tournaments in Brazil, the U.F.C. and the sport of MMA have roots in the ancient Olympic combat sport of Pankration in 648 BC. The U.F.C. held its first competition in Denver, Colorado in 1993. The event Showcased fighters of different disciplines-including boxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, wrestling, Muay Thai, karate and other styles, it sought to identify the most effective martial art in a real fighting situation.
The U.F.C. secured a cable-television deal and expanded into Canada, Europe, Australia, the Middle East, and Asia, also to new markets within the United States. It continues to gain in popularity as of 2011, and now gets greater mainstream-media coverage. Fans can now access U.F.C. programming on pay-per-view television in the U.S., Brazil, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Italy. UFC programming has expanded to channels like, Spike, Versus and Ion Television in the U.S., in the United Kingdom it is on ESPN. U.F.C. can now be viewed in over 130 countries and heard in 20 different languages worldwide.
U.F.C. fighters come from all walks of life.One of these MMA Immortals is Jose Beltran, aptly nicknamed, the “Mexicutioner,” one can only imagine how he got the name, probably because of his fearless attitude, skill and heart in the ring. Beltran was an unknown before he defeated former U.F.C. fighter Houston Alexander via TKO in early 2010. Not long after, he was brought in to the U.F.C. to fight Rolles Gracie at UFC 109, where he outshined his fatigued, inexperienced opponent, this fight is said to have cemented his contract with the U.F.C.
Beltran is afraid of no one in the ring. His only fear is letting down the people he respects. “I get scared before every fight but it isn’t because of who I am fighting. The only fear I have is of not performing well and letting all of the people who support me down. Getting to the UFC was a huge team effort. My training partners, coaches, family, my wife, even my students at Pilot Built training center in Oceanside CA, mmapilotbuilt.com, all put in a piece of the puzzle that is my career. So when I fight I am fighting for all of them, and when I lose we all lose, when I win we all win.”
Beltran has worked very hard to get where he is, and takes his training very seriously,”I have learned to be very organized and plan out all my sessions one week at a time. I train 6 days a week, half the week I train 3 times a day and the other half twice a day. I rest and recuperate by doing absolutely nothing on Sundays. My workouts include strength and conditioning, Jiu Jitsu, wrestling and striking technique as well as hard sparring. It is a heavy workload, but it is worth it.”
Beltran was born in Oceanside, CA, and grew up in Carlsbad, his main influence growing up was his mother. She gave him his work ethic and will to win and survive, according to Joeybeltran.com.
“I grew up without a father and was pretty angry; sports like football and wrestling were really therapeutic for me. I idolized “El Gran Campeon Mexicano” Julio Cesar Chavez growing up; he made me want to be a professional boxer one day. In junior high school I got into wrestling, and was very successful at it. Around the same time I fell in love with some crazy new type of fighting on pay per view called U.F.C. Early on I looked up to then U.F.C. light heavyweight champion, Tito Ortiz and dreamed of one day fighting in front of thousands of people in the famous octagon.”
What does it take to be a great fighter, is it strength, heart, determination? “Champions aren’t made in gyms.” Muhammad Ali said, “Champions are made from something they have deep inside them: A desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have last minute stamina, they have to be a little faster, they have to have the skill and will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.” Joey “Mexicutioner” Beltran seems to be one of the men Muhammad Ali was talking about, he has had 18 fights, and 13 wins, 11of them by T.K.O.
“I think I am known for my U.F.C. debut against Rolles Gracie. I get asked about fighting a Gracie all the time. I feel that it was just another fight along the journey that is my fighting career. Maybe when I am older I will sit back and actually think about what it meant in the big picture of my sport. The fight I am most proud of was my 5 round fight with Tony Lopez for the King of the Cage Heavyweight title.”
“I took the fight on 18 days’ notice and went to war for the full 25 minutes. It was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. It’s truly indescribable what I learned about myself and what I can endure and persevere through. Even though I lost because of a controversial decision it held so much more importance to me than any win on my record.” Muhammad Ali once said, “Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even.”
Master Robert Lovi, a well-known figure in Gracie Jiu Jitsu, graciesd.com says “Joey is a brawler and a tough guy, and an all-around nice person. He works with kids and does a summer training camp. He also loves to be a role model and tries to motivate kids and he spends his time helping the community. Joey is a real U.F.C. fighter and is already well known in the MMA world and is still up and coming.”
Joey “the Mexicutioner” Beltran’s next fight is, October 8th in Houston Texas at U.F.C. number 136. He is fighting an undefeated prospect named, Stipe Miocic.
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