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The Mexicutioner is Coming to Town

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Joey Beltran

The UFC is coming to Chicago on for the UFC on Fox, and they’re bringing ‘The Mexicutioner’ with them.

MMA Weekly and other sources report that UFC heavyweight Joey Beltran will battle Strikeforce-import Lavar Johnson on January 28th at the United Center.

Both Beltran and Johnson love to stand and trade power shots, which makes for exciting fights. But they are both coming off losses, so we’ll have to see if they opt for more strategy than usual. Don’t count on it. Expect fireworks early and often, even at their own peril. Johnson will be making his UFC debut and has dropped his last two fights. Beltran has lost three of his last four bouts in the Octagon.

Beltran lost his last fight to Stipe Miocic at UFC 136 in Houston. He scored a TKO win over Aaron Rosa at UFC 131, and was involved in an epic brawl with Pat Barry at UFC Fight for the Troops in January.

Beltran stormed on to the UFC scene with two straight wins in 2010, knocking out Rolles Gracie and winning via decision against Tim Hague. Although he is a fan favorite, a loss to Johnson could signal the end of his UFC career. That would make him 1-4 in his last five fights, and the Strikeforce heavyweights are being folded into the UFC.

Johnson survived being shot to come back and make some noise in Strikeforce Challengers. He won his first three fights by knockout, with two coming in the first round. But since then he was submitted twice in a row, losing to Shane Del Rosario and Shawn Jordan.

In the end, as cliche, as it sounds, the fans win with this matchup. Although they both badly need to get wins, these two aren’t coming here to play poker. They’ll stand and bang until someone goes down for good. Let’s just hope that it doesn’t come at the expense of one of their jobs, because these two heavyweights are fun to watch.

About Matt Lo Cascio

Matt Lo Cascio is a former TV producer who turned to new media in 2005, and he is the co-founder and editor of Chicago's MMA. He is also the play-by-play announcer for the XFO. His work has been published by ESPN.com, DraftKings, The Comeback, FanSided and more.

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