When the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) announced its return to pay-per-view television in January 2020, fight fans were eager to see the return of lightweight fighter Mike Beltran.
But when Beltran walked out for his scheduled fight against non-UFC-contracted opponent Corey Sandhagen, something was noticeably missing: his signature beard.
Had Beltran chosen to shed the facial hair for a more professional look? Had hormonal imbalances led to his choice? Or, did something bigger happen that made him decide to cut it?
The Debate Among Fans
The Internet was quickly flooded with tweets and posts speculating on why Beltran had chosen to shave his beard. On one side, many fight fans celebrated his new clean-shaven look, while others dismissed it and rooted for his beard to return.
“My heart breaks,” wrote one tweet. “To see Mike beltran with no beard is like seeing Tony Hawk without a skateboard.”
Amid the debate, Beltran himself remained silent and refused to comment on the situation. Increasingly, it began to look like we’d never know the answer to the million-dollar question: did Mike Beltran cut his beard?
The Truth Revealed
Finally, after months of speculation, the truth was revealed in an interview with UFC president Dana White.
White revealed that Beltran had been compelled to shave his beard as a gesture of respect for his opponent, Corey Sandhagen. As it turns out, Sandhagen was suffering from a rare skin condition that caused him to be highly sensitive to the oil in Beltran’s beard, and Beltran was aware of this and chose to shave out of respect.
When asked why he had kept quiet throughout the entire ordeal, Beltran explained, “I wanted to show the world that respect matters in fighting, and that it is something that should be practiced by all fighters regardless of their standing or reputation.”
Though it was a personal decision, Beltran’s willingness to accept his opponent’s condition and show respect was applauded by fans and respected figures in the industry alike.
The New Look
When asked about his new look during the interview, Beltran revealed that he actually quite liked it. “I’ve been working out a lot lately,” he said. “So, I think the clean-shaven look is actually quite complementary for me.”
Beltran also said he plans on continuing to shave for the foreseeable future and isn’t opposed to growing it back out if and when the time comes.
For now, Beltran’s clean-shaven look is here to stay and, while we may never know the full story behind why he decided to cut it, one thing is clear: Mike Beltran’s beard may be gone, but the unique respect he showed is something that will never be forgotten.
Once Beltran’s complete explanation was revealed, his newfound popularity with fans began to soar. Beltran’s social media channels were flooded with messages of support and praise for his gesture of respect. Not only did it endear him to fight fans, but it also won him respect within the MMA community and rapidly increased his profile within the sport.
“It’s been a humbling experience,” said Beltran. “I’m grateful for all the support I’ve received from my fans and from within the community.”
The increased public interest in Beltran’s career has not only allowed him to reach wider audiences, but it has also sparked debate about the importance of respect in sports.
The Impact On The Sport
Beltran’s decision to shave his beard in order to show respect for his opponent has opened up the conversation about how to treat opponents in combat sports with respect, sportsmanship and fairness. It’s also given fighters a way to create memorable and indelible experiences within the sport.
This newfound respect for Beltran has allowed his stock to rise within the UFC and has wide implications for the future of MMA. More specifically, many people believe that the level of respect exhibited by Beltran will inspire other fighters to take similar steps in order to create a more friendly and professional MMA atmosphere.
“I think it’s important that we continue to emphasize respect within the sport,” said Beltran. “I believe that respect is essential to the development and growth of MMA.”
Though we may never know the true reason why Mike Beltran chose to cut his beard, his gesture of respect has elevated his profile within the MMA community and sparked an important dialogue about respect and sportsmanship.
Only time will tell what the future holds for Beltran, but for now it’s clear that he’s become a role model and has set an example for professional behavior within the sport. No matter what his future holds, Beltran will remain an example of what respect and decency can do for the sport of MMA.
The story of Mike Beltran’s decision to cut his beard has inspired many people within the MMA community. Many fighters have now adopted a similar stance and are taking steps to show respect and professional behavior towards their opponents.
Beltran’s story is one of humility, dedication and respect, and it has resonated with many fighters and fans alike. His idea of showing respect is something that is being adopted by fighters around the world and is quickly becoming the norm within the sport.
Beltran’s unique story of showing respect is something that the MMA community will never forget and it’s clear that his spirit and passion will remain with the sport for many years to come.
Although he is no longer actively competing in the UFC, Mike Beltran’s legacy lives on. His story of showing respect and presenting himself professionally underscores the importance of sportsmanship in the sport of MMA and serves as a reminder to all competitors that respect matters.
Beltran may have left the sport, but his impact will continue to be felt for years to come. Though the beard has gone, the idea that respect is essential will remain, and Mike Beltran will always be remembered as the fighter who put respect in the spotlight.