Joey Beltran official as late replacement, faces Rolles Gracie on UFC 109 prelims


by Staff [February 2, 2010] --

Just three weeks removed from a regional-show win over Houston Alexander, the "Mexicutioner" will make his UFC debut.

The UFC today officially announced that heavyweight newcomer Joey Beltran (10-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has agreed to step in for Mostapha Al Turk and face fellow octagon rookie Rolles Gracie (3-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) on the preliminary card of Saturday's "UFC 109: Relentless" event. ( first reported the likely switch on Monday.

UFC 109 takes place Saturday at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The main card airs live on pay-per-view.

Beltran, a longtime Total Combat and King of the Cage fighter, enters the UFC with six wins in his past seven fights, which included a first-round TKO of UFC vet Sherman Pendergarst at a May 2009 Bellator Fighting Championships event. He's posted stoppages (nine knockouts and one submission) in all 10 of his career wins.

On his official Web site, Beltran said his new contract with the UFC calls for four fights.

Meanwhile, Gracie, the son of Rolls Gracie (whose uncle was Helio Gracie), made his pro debut in 2007 with the International Fight League. The second-degree Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt defeated Sam Holloway via submission but wouldn't fight again for nearly two years, when he returned at the China-based Art of War promotion in 2009 and moved his record to 3-0 with a pair of additional submission victories over Baga Agaev in May and Peter Graham in September.

The UFC didn't give an official reason for Al Turk's removal from the card, but multiple sources have pointed to potential visa issues. Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Keith Kizer told on Monday that the removal, then unofficial, had nothing to do with any licensing concerns.


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