In May of 2008, a 26 year old Joey Beltran would enter the KOTC (King of the Cage) cage, where he would first meet Tony Lopez in a mixed martial arts bout. Coming up short, Beltran would suffer a submission loss in the first round. Fast forward to 2009, the pair would rematch, again in KOTC. Though a closer fight, ultimately, Lopez would once again walk away the victor, earning himself the judges decision.
Nearly 10 years later, at Bare Knuckle FC’s debut event on June 2nd, 2018, ‘The Mexicutioner’ Beltran and ‘Kryptonite’ Lopez would square off once again, only this time in a bare knuckle fight. With years of added experience, and over 100 MMA fights combined, there was no doubting this long awaited rematch would be a fan favorite. This time, the judges scored the fight in favor of Joey, earning himself the decision win, and also a fight of the year award along side Lopez. Click here to watch Joey Beltran and Tony Lopez’ first bare knuckle fight.
At BKFC 4: USA vs. Mexico, ‘The Mexicutioner’ will toe the line, opposite Tony Lopez for the fourth time, looking to tie their rivalry. FightBook MMA spoke with Joey Beltran, who is now preparing for the promotions first venture going international, and he’s ready to end the fight in spectacular fashion.
“I want to finish him this fight, and be done with the rivalry for good. I’m comfortable ending my career being “tied” with him. I feel I have done the necessary work to not only win but win in a spectacular fashion on February 2!”
Having made his debut in professional mixed martial arts in 2007, Beltran tells FightBook MMA that the transition from MMA to BKB is “different, but it’s violent regardless”.
“It is different, but still a grind regardless. On one side I could look at it and think well, I only have to focus on two weapons, but on the other hand, I only have two weapons to use. It’s violence regardless and the potential to get injured is there but honestly I enjoy it.”
Having competed on two of the three cards BKFC put on in 2018, which includes their inaugural event, Beltran is excited to be apart of the adventure, making bare knuckle boxing global.
“I’m excited that I have been a part of this new adventure. To be a part of something truly historical was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I am glad I took a chance and went with it. It’s been a wild ride for sure!”
Competing at the promotions debut in Mexico is an added bonus for Beltran, but his goal has always been to “win over the crowed” with his performances. February 2nd is no different.
“I am excited to put on a show and win over the crowd with my performance. That is always my goal on fight night. Being in Mexico is an added bonus and I am so excited for the opportunity!”
Having competed in the heavyweight tournament, where Beltran would fall short to now champion, Arnold Adams in the semi-finals, ‘The Mexicutioner’ is looking at his future one fight at a time, happy to rematch Adams should the opportunity come his way.
“I take my career one fight at a time so I am focused on Tony Lopez. If it makes sense to fight Arnold Adams again in the future I’d take the opportunity!” Joey Beltran added, “I am fully aware and present in what the situation that I’m walking into February 2nd, so I am not looking past that. After I complete this task I’ll have a better answer to what my plans are for 2019.”