In stepping up to the UFC, Beltran began facing some of the toughest competition MMA could offer.
“I’ve been competing at the highest level of MMA in the world,” said Beltran. “It’s not possible to win every fight, at least most of the time.
“I’m realistic. I’m not the best athlete in the world or the biggest, strongest, or fastest, but I go out there and lay it on the line every single time I fight, and that’s why I’ve been able to compete at the highest level.”
Upon his release from the UFC this October, Beltran sought an opportunity to start over, which he’ll get at Friday’s Bellator 108 in Atlantic City, N.J., against fellow former UFC light-heavyweight Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (32-11).
“Yeah, it’s definitely a fresh start for me getting with a brand new organization,” said Beltran. “I’m excited for the opportunity.
“I know how important this fight is and what I need to do for myself, my career, and my family. I’m not taking this opportunity lightly. I’ve got to go out there and perform.”
When it comes to facing Jackson, Beltran told MMAWeekly.com that he has to come out swinging and keep going the full length of the fight in order to pick up the win.
“Basically, I’ve been fighting at the highest level of MMA in the world for a couple years now, so there’s no need to take a tune-up fight, might as well jump into the deep water,” said Beltran. “I actually was the one who asked for this fight.
“I think I need to hit the gas pedal right from the beginning and keep punching. Keep punching and swinging and do what I need to do for the entire 15 minutes and make him fight the entire fight. If I do that, I think I will be able to break him.”
While Beltran admits that once he’s on the precipice of the fight, he won’t be thinking about the ramifications of it. Leading up to Friday’s bout, he knows what’s at stake and he intends to make the most out of this opportunity.
“I think in the actual physical moment of the fight, you don’t think what’s going to happen after that. You’ve got a 220-pound man trying to knock your head off, but leading up to it, I know what’s waiting for me on the other side of this victory,” he said.
“I know how important it is and that’s why I’m going to go out there and do it. I want to go in there, beat Rampage, get in the 205-pound tournament, win that, win the title – I want it all – I’m not here to just collect a paycheck.”