This coming Wednesday marks the return of another UFC Fight Night, as well as a return to Brazil. The card, headlined by Jake Shields vs Demian Maia, has a few other interesting bouts, but the one featuring Joey Beltran and Fabio Maldonado has the potential to be fight of the night grade stuff.
Beltran, who started off as a heavyweight, made the drop to 205 in early 2012, and has had three outings there. He's had a mixed bag of results, and an unfortunate positive test for a banned substance in his last fight against Igor Pokrajac.
In a recent interview with MMA Sentinel's Evan Shoman, Beltran talked about the circumstances surrounding his positive test, and the associated risk athletes take when they use supplements. He also discussed his in-cage mental issues, thoughts on Maldonado and the days when he fought on Indian reservations. Here's an excerpt of the interview, which can be found on HOV MMA:
About the drug suspension:
I'm still pretty bummed about the Igor Pokrajac fight. I got that stupid positive test and to this day, I have no idea why. If you look at my physique it's pretty clear I have no idea what Nandrolone or Deca is. I dealt with that 9 month suspension by becoming hungrier and working on my technique.
Does it mess with your head when you take supplements because of all the hidden ingredients that could show up as a banned substance?
Yeah man. I did it totally different for his fight. I took no supplements at all, aside from protein shakes. It sucks because you walk that fine line trying to improve your performance and find stuff on the internet that is legal today, but illegal in 2 weeks. These companies aren't regulated by the FDA. So they say there is baking soda in it but really it is human growth hormones.
I've moved on and am just ready to scrap. This suspension has just become another part of my journey now. I was complaining a lot about fighting, when I was fighting. The suspension may have been God's way of saying, "Oh you don't like it? Well, now you aren't going to fight for 9 months. How do you like that buddy?"
I was forced to sit back and look at my career. I haven't held any major title or even put together a decent win streak in the UFC. But, I'm comparing myself to the highest level of fighters in the world. The highest level of martial arts in the world and then there's chubby little Mexican Joey Beltran; and I've been hanging with these guys for 4 years now. So, I realize that I'm doing alright. I just need to be comfortable with what I do. I don't care if you are a Karate guy, Jiu Jitsu master, or wrestler; I'm going to grab a hold of you and punch you in the face until the ref stops it or time runs out. That's what I'm going to do.
You can read the entire interview here.
You can follow Joey via his Twitter account, @Mexicutioner760
SBN coverage of UFC Fight Night 29: Maia vs. Shields