The 40-year-old legend, twice the champion, comes back to fight once more against the younger (nearly) undefeated rising star…
It’s a story as old as time, or maybe just Rocky… Either way, the “Baddest Man on the Planet” Joe Warren is coming back to Bellator after his most recent loss to Eduardo Dantas. Losses nor old age will be slowing this man down though, he’s back and hungry for more, ready to take on Garcia and then, eventually, get himself that oh-so-sweet third championship belt.
“Yeah you know Dantas, that was a tough loss. That was my first loss that I lost a decision to (an opponent) but you know he caught me sleeping. He was training for me for, what, two or three years and I was fighting non-stop. He beat me with some footwork. Don’t worry — I’ve reinvented myself. We went back to the drawing board, and this old man’s got some footwork now, so people are in for some big trouble.”
“I don’t even know his freaking name man. He’s a body in front of me to run through you know? I think he’s a young kid, up-and-coming, (and) I’m kind of like Bellator’s gatekeeper. If you want to make a name at Bantamweight in Bellator, you’ve gotta come through me. I’m really open and welcome to that. If you want to get your ass beat then come on in that cage with me and I’ll be happy to do it for ya.”
Everyone always comments on how entertaining and chaotic Warren’s style can be, but what they don’t always mention is the fact that his opponent, Garcia, is ENORMOUS for a Bantamweight fighter.
“Yeah I noticed that! My coach Marc Montoya he does the worrying and the watching and the tapes and that kind of stuff. I’ve been noticing that all of my sparring partners (now) are six feet tall and I’m like ‘What the hell’s going on here?’ And he’s like ‘He’s six feet tall! He’s skinny and six feet tall!’ I’m like ‘Alright, no problem!’ You know I don’t ask questions, I just run through practice. So it looks like he’s a tall up-and-coming kid. That’s very normal (to) me. At least he doesn’t have world titles behind him like everyone else (I fight) does you know?”
Since the year 2014, more than half of all Warren’s fights have been for the title… So it’ll definitely be a little bit of a different feeling going into this bout, because, while it’s not title fight, it’s extremely important for both fighters to get one step closer to that championship belt.
“This is strange for me not being a main event or co-main event, I don’t even know how that is. It doesn’t bother me. If Scott (Coker)’s gonna pay me to fight in the street, I’ll fight in the street, know what I mean? I just have always been a Bellator family man.”
That’s for sure, Warren’s been with the ‘Bellator family’ since Bellator 13, that was seven years ago.
“I’ve been part of the Bellator family since the beginning of Bellator you know? It’s like ‘My step dad was getting the job done, but my new dad is kicking ass!’ Coker has brought a lot of credibility to the Bellator banner and the brand, and it just keeps getting bigger and bigger and more fun and more fun. As a spectator watching it, it has been a lot of fun to watch Bellator grow and know I’ve been part of that growth. To get an opportunity to get back in that Bellator cage and perform and impress myself I’m really excited, you know anxious and violent.”
“I’m always fighting like two weeks after the big fight, you know that’s what happens. I’m honored that they give me the opportunity to put me on a card and still hold the viewership. That’s nice to know. I would love to fight in one of those big Bellator (cards). I’ve fought in the littlest ones, I’d like to fight in the biggest one. That being said I think I might have to get a few of these wins, get an opportunity to maybe beat the hell out of Dantas again in a rubber match, and that might be when you see us on that big card.”
In order to get that rubber match though, he has to go straight through yet another rising star in Bellator MMA, in the form of Steve Garcia.
“I’m gonna plan on putting this crazy violence into this guy’s head. It’s really hard to train for a guy like me. You can’t really deal with the pressure or the violence or the power coming from me. He’s nothing to me, just a body in front of me. I plan on putting a hole through this man and putting my hand up in that Bellator cage.”