James Te-Huna (14-5-0-) vs. Joey “The Mexicutioner” Beltran (14-7-0)
James Te-Huna was originally supposed to be fighting Brandon Vera in a clear step up in competition, but with Vera taking the main event slot on the next FOX card opposite Shogun Rua, they needed a new opponent. In steps Joey Beltran fresh off a win in a new weight class. While this fight will not have a ton of prominence in terms of divisional standing, it still has the chance to be highly entertaining.
James is clearly a standup fighter with 10 of his 14 wins coming by TKO, and all three of his wins in the UFC have come via TKO with two being in the first round. His only loss in the octagon came at the hands of 205 contender Alexander Gustafsson by submission. So, Te-Huna should keep the fight standing and not take it to the ground, although he won’t have to worry about that with Beltran who is known for being a brawler.
Joey Beltran came to the UFC on the strength of a knockout win over veteran Houston Alexander. Many thought he was an easy win for Rolles Gracie in both of their debuts, but he was able to earn the TKO. Beltran then became notorious for being hard to knockout until he was put down by Lavar Johnson. After being dropped form the promotion, he contemplated retirement until a sports psychologist and a win at light-heavyweight changed his mind. Now, Beltran has the opportunity to reinvent himself with this short notice fight. He can challenge Te-Huna on the feet, but should try to take it to the ground and exploit James’ weakness.
The Bottom Line: Beltran should probably not get into a brawl with Te-Huna, as he is the superior standup fighter. Ultimately, Te-Huna will win by decision after having a tough time finishing Beltran.