INDIANAPOLIS -- Matt Mitrione won an exciting and aggressive decision over Joey Beltran, 29-28 on all three judges cards, in front of his hometown crowd.
With the crowd chanting "Matt" and "Meathead," Mitrione and Beltran had several furious exchanges. Beltran managed to get Mitrione to the ground in the first round and control him throughout. Mitrione tried for submission attempts but was nowhere near successful.
Mitrione landed a head kick to start the second round and a flurry of punches, but Beltran again went to the clinch. Beltran used the clinch to get out of big striking exchanges more than once, but every time, Mitrione was able to return to strikes and kicks. Mitrione ended the round well, landing a kick to Beltran's head and then a few strikes as the horn sounded.
The third round featured more furious exchanges, with Mitrione continuing to move forward throughout. Beltran's face was cut, and he slowed down considerably as the round wore on. Mitrione landed a few big shots near the end of the round to seal the win.
As his name was called as the winner, the crowd at Conseco Fieldhouse jumped to their feet in approval. Mitrione, a former football player at Purdue University, lives in Indianapolis. The crowd was clearly on his side, which Mitrione appreciated.
"The crowd was great," he said after the fight. "They were giving me advice, telling me to get off the fence and turn. They were very knowledgeable."