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Joey Beltran Back With UFC, Faces James Te Huna at UFC ON FUEL 4

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

It didn't take long for Joey Beltran to get his return ticket to the UFC.

The slugger was released in January after a second straight loss, but reinvented himself as a light-heavyweight and won on the regional circuit in April. And now, with a glut of injuries to the UFC's talent roster, Beltran will get a chance to return.

He'll take on James Te Huna at UFC on FUEL 4, the UFC confirmed on Monday.

Te Huna was left opponent-less when his original foe, Brandon Vera, was plucked from their matchup to face Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at UFC on FOX 4.

Beltran made a name for himself with a crowd-pleasing style that bordered on brawler, but after a 2-0 start in the octagon, he lost four of his last five. In his last fight, he suffered the first knockout loss of his career, getting finished by Lavar Johnson in the first round of their bout.

Beltran though, was always a small heavyweight, weighing 228 pounds for his fight with Johnson, so the shift to the lower division seemed a logical shift. His maiden voyage to the weight class went off well, as he beat Anton Talamantes by decision in his first outing, improving to 14-7.

In Te Huna, he'll be facing an opponent with major knockout power. Te Huna (14-5) is 3-1 in his UFC career thus far, earning knockout finishes of Igor Pokrajac, Ricardo Romero and Aaron Rosa.

UFC on FUEL 4 takes place on July 11 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.

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