Joey “The Mexicutioner” Beltran has left a lot of bodies on the floor.
Prior to signing with Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship and becoming one of the sport’s biggest stars, Beltran fought 10 times for the UFC and had eight bouts under the Bellator banner. Beltran’s MMA career included more than 30 fights, beginning in 2007 with Strikeforce.
Beltran has been one of bare knuckle fighting’s most exciting athletes since he beat Tony Lopez at BKFC 1 in 2018. He has held the BKFC World Heavyweight Championship and successfully defended his title twice.
Beltran calls his time with BKFC the second act of his fighting career.
“I feel really good about what I’ve accomplished, even if I didn’t enjoy a lot of it as much as I could have at the time,” Beltran says. “Back when I was in the UFC, I never sat back and reflected on where I was or how far I had come. I was a very different person mentally, and I approach fighting very differently now.”
Beltran is coming off back-to-back losses for the first time in his bare knuckle fighting career. Last November, he lost his title after dropping a close decision to Arnold Adams in New York. In April, he was defeated by Frank Tate in just 23 seconds when they locked horns in Florida.
A two-fight losing streak would surely give a younger version of “The Mexicutioner” a lot of anxiety and worries. Despite his consecutive losses, Beltran is far from discouraged.
He tries to return to the win column against fellow UFC vet Houston “The Assassin” Alexander (2-0) in the Main Event of BKFC 33 on Nov. 18 in Alexander’s hometown of Omaha, NE, LIVE on the BKFC app.
This is a rematch that’s more than 10 years in the making. They first clashed in an MMA fight in Tulsa, OK in 2010. Alexander had just parted ways with the UFC at the time. Beltran beat Alexander by second-round TKO and then signed with the UFC.
“To have a long career in the fight game, especially at a higher weight class, you have to have a very cerebral approach to the game – I know Houston has that, and he’s still an extremely dangerous fighter, even if he’s 50,” Beltran says.
“Yeah, he’s 50 – but I’m 40. So what? We’re just two grown-ass dudes getting in a fist fight,” he adds with a laugh. “I’m excited to show everybody who’s boss.”