Former Bellator MMA bantamweight champion Joe Warren is never at a loss for words, which should come as no surprise when considering his unshakable confidence. While he surrendered his 135-pound title in March, part of him believes he is still champion.
Warren admits he never had any intention of going to the ground with Marcos Galvao, one of the best jiu-jitsu players in the sport. His failure to steer clear of the Brazilian’s guard at Bellator 135 resulted in his paying the price in a kneebar submission.
“I was never, ever going to roll around with Marcos Galvao,” Warren told Sherdog.com. “He’s a five-time world champion. What do you expect? You just don’t do that. I was in great position, and I’ve competed against some of the best jiu-jitsu guys in the world and I know what I’m doing out there. I defended the way I was supposed to.
“I was in good position and I started to punch but then I got caught up in a rolling game with him, and that’s something I shouldn’t have done,” he added. “He was in the position to do it, and I didn’t even know I screamed. He got me in such a bad position that there was no way to get out of there, and that’s what he does for a living. It sucks.”
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Warren has spent the last six months thinking about getting another crack at the Brazilian. Though the memories have been hard to shake, Warren concedes the setback served as a wake-up call and forced him to reassess how he approached his fights.
“He ripped a piece of my heart out. It sucked,” he said. “Galvao broke the mixed martial artist out of Joe Warren. I was focused on being a well-rounded mixed martial artist, so I’m back to being the ass-kicking, bad-ass, battle-tested killing machine. I’m just trying to finish people and get out of the cage as fast as I can.”
Warren’s will attempt to rebound against L.C. Davis in the Bellator 143 main event on Friday at the State Farm Arena in Hidalgo, Texas. A World Extreme Cagefighting and International Fight League veteran, the experienced Davis has almost twice as many MMA fights as Warren. The American Top Team HD rep has won all three of his bouts in Bellator. Warren expects a serious challenge.
“I have a hard time with opinions and predictions because I know firsthand what happens in that cage,” he said. “It’s the most unpredictable place in the world, and this is the most unpredictable sport. I thought I was the greatest fighter ever in my last fight, but some crazy s--- happened, and I don’t have my belt anymore. That being said, everybody’s similar inside of that cage.
“He is a veteran and he has several more fights than I do,” Warren added. “He’s fought in all the different leagues, he’s a wrestler and he’s real determined to seize this opportunity. I see this as a big step for me, too, because I have this fired-up, hungry guy coming after me. I’m very prepared for him and very knowledgeable of what he brings to the table.”
Warren admits to being leery of Davis, a tall, rangy southpaw, as he was originally training to face a more traditional fighter. Warren knows any shot at redeeming himself against Galvao will fly out the window with a loss to Davis.
“I don’t pull my motivations from bad stuff or outside opinions,” he said. “I put everything I have in that cage, and it’s very personal for me when I fight. I’m focused on doing one thing, and that’s to put as much violence and pressure on this L.C. Davis as I can before I break him. That’s what I do. If I slack off in there, I’ll have to deal this kid coming right at me.
“Yes, I want to finish him,” Warren added. “Yes, I want it to be in spectacular fashion, but you never know what can happen in there. I think I’m technically sound in every position, so all I have to do is go out there, pull the trigger and have a performance that I’m proud of.”
Warren remains confident in his abilities and warned that Davis will be in for a rude awakening inside the Bellator cage.
“Let’s see if he can take some punishment, some hard hits, some pressure,” he said. “I don’t think he’ll able to take the power of the ‘Baddest Man’ after a round or two.”