Cagewriter - Mixed Martial Arts

UFC 131 openers: Beltran wins brawl over Rosa, Elkins takes shaky decision from Omigawa

Joey Beltran and Aaron Rosa won't be modeling for a calendar anytime soon, but those big dudes can dish out some damage. They can also take a beating. The heavyweights, who clocked in at a combined 598 pounds, slugged it out until Rosa got drilled by a knee early in the third. Beltran turned up the heat and pounded out Rosa on the ground for a win at the 1:26 mark of the third at UFC 131 in Vancouver.

Beltran, a 237 pounder fighting out of San Diego, wins for the third time in the UFC. His killer instinct was impressive.

"To be blunt, I knew he was going to be tough as hell. I was able to land some big shots and I am really happy with this performance," Beltran said. "Putting away a tough guy like him is just a testament to how hard of a camp I went through to get ready for tonight."

Just 40 seconds into the third, Beltran (13-5, 3-2 UFC) worked head control and pushed Rosa down into a nasty knee. That seemed to change everything as Beltran scored an easy takedown.

With Rosa (16-4, 0-1 UFC) on his knees and covering up, Beltran landed some body punches and got off 11 shots to the head. Rosa rose to his feet, but was stunned. Beltran dumped him a few seconds later, and as he settled into half guard he came down with the full force of a right elbow to Rosa's face. Rosa was shot. The bigger man ate a flurry of punches. Two left hands through his arms ended things.

"I got tired, but I think I got hit in the back of the head after he took me down and that dazed me. When I got up, he hit me with more hard shots and I never recovered. He's tough and proved that tonight," said Rosa.

Beltran came to Alliance Training Center in San Diego weighing 300-plus pounds. He's slimmed down and looks better each time out.

"I think I'm barely starting to show the type of fighter I am. To succeed in the UFC, it takes a full team effort and my team did a great job preparing me for this fight," said Beltran.

After seeing both fighters sporting some extra beef around the middle, it looked like stamina might be an issue, but it wasn't. Rosa, who's fought in the past at light heavyweight, entered the fight at 261 pounds. He absorbed some huge right hands, body shots and a few good standing elbows through the first round and a half. Rosa came back towards the end of the second, but that big knee from Beltran in the third took away his chances to get a win in his UFC debut.

During the prefight, UFC matchmaker Joe Silva added the note that this was the first time two fighters of Mexican descent went head-to-head in the Octagon.

UFC 131 openers: Beltran wins brawl over Rosa, Elkins takes shaky decision from Omigawa

Japanese star Omigawa loses again in the UFC

This was another big night for Japanese MMA. Michihiro Omigawa, one of the top featherweights from Japan, needed a win after getting dominated by Chad Mendes at UFC 126. It looked like he did enough to take a 29-28 decision from Darren Elkins, but the judges disagreed. Even with multiple cuts on his face and a lackluster third round, Elkins took a unanimous decision from Omigawa, 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27.

Elkins (12-2, 2-1 UFC) did some nice work in the opening round. Omigawa bounced around the cage and switched stances every few seconds, but it didn't allow him to land anything very solid.

In the second round, Omigawa landed some good shots around Elkins' right eye and opened two cuts. He also scored a takedown and blasted away at Elkins. In what appeared to be a one-sided final round for Omigawa, more cuts were opened on Elkins' face and he finished all bloodied up. It didn't impress the judges.

A former lightweight, Omigawa (12-10-1, 0-4 UFC) dropped to featherweight and went 8-2-1 before re-signing with the UFC. He's now dropped two straight.

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