Will Joe Warren capture this season's tournament? Please tell us below. | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Joe Warren notched the first submission win of his career Friday at Bellator 101, but he’ll be looking for a more brutal finish when he meets Travis Marx in the 135-pound tournament final.
“I kind of feel bad for this Travis Marx because all the problems I had in this last fight, it’ll be all fixed and it’s just going to be a brutal beatdown,” Warren told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show.
The 36-year-old bantamweight had been scheduled to compete Sept. 7 at Bellator 98 in Uncasville, Conn. However, he was scratched from the card after the Mohegan Tribal Athletic Department did not to clear him medically. The commission had raised a concern over Warren’s MRI, though Warren said it ended up being an “image abnormality.”
“It sucked, but I have babies at home,” Warren said. “I was more worried about making sure everything was OK.”
There was also the stress of being told he may never fight again. Of course, he was soon cleared to fight and three weeks later he was back in the ring, armbarring semifinal opponent Nick Kirk. The finish was nice, but Warren would have liked to showcase his striking.
“My hands are so nasty,” he said. “My hands are nasty right now. … I was really anxious. I wanted to get to him so bad. It’s hard for me to stand back and understand distance when someone blows the whistle and I know the guy wants to get to me. If I would have been able to bring my heart rate down a little bit and stay a little calmer in the first, I would have finished it on my feet. I really thought I’d probably knock him to his back and finish him with ground-and-pound, but my submission stuff right now and control was so strong that that kind of was a freak position. I tried to take his back in a mount and he rolled underneath and I locked that triangle up and I just kind of stayed calm until I had his arm extended. I just popped that elbow right out.”
Next up is Marx, who advanced to the tournament final by stopping Brandon Bender. In the opening round, Marx outpointed Chase Beebe.
“I don’t really know much about him,” Warren said. “I know he’s a lefty and I think he’s a little older fighter like me. I don’t really care. He’s just another body in front of me that I’m going to run through. I believe I’m primed up ready for this belt run and this is the next guy in my way.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:37:40).