Joe Warren will return to action this coming Friday when the former featherweight champion faces Nick Kirk in the Bellator 101 headliner at Moda Center in Portland, Ore.
Bellator officials announced the news Friday. Warren and Kirk were initially supposed to square off in their bantamweight tournament semifinal on Sept. 7 at Bellator 98, but Warren was not medically cleared to compete by the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation.
With his medicals now apparently in order, Warren will assume the Sept. 27 headlining slot opposite Kirk live on Spike TV. As a result, the show’s original main event -- a heavyweight tournament semifinal between Cheick Kongo and Mark Godbeer -- has been moved back one week to Bellator 102, according to a recent tweet from Kongo.
Warren, 36, won Bellator’s featherweight title in 2010 but was later knocked out by Alexis Vila before suffering the same fate against Pat Curran, who lifted the championship from Warren in March of last year. After spending eight months out of the cage, Warren returned to action last November, cruising to a unanimous decision over Owen Evinger.
Kirk has won three of his last four fights, though he is still searching for his first Bellator victory after going winless in two promotional appearances. “The Big Hurt” last competed on April 13, submitting 21-fight pro Ben Miller with a triangle choke under the Impact Fighting Championship banner.