Feeling Naked, Joe Warren Starts Road Back to a Title at Bellator 80


After winning seven of his first eight fights, former Bellator bantamweight champion Joe Warren has suffered back-to-back losses for the first time in his career.

According to Warren, those are the kinds of risks you take when you face top tier talent.

“I believe the last year was rough, but I’m a prizefighter who fights for titles and those are tough fights,” said Warren. “Besides that, training is fine and I’m really healthy and more powerful at 135, and I believe it’s going to change my fighting style when I’m at a competitive weight class.

“Fighting a guy like Pat Curran, who is seven inches (taller) and 30 pounds bigger became a factor in the later rounds. Now I get to fight at a weight I’m comfortable at and I’m excited about it.”

Warren told MMAWeekly.com that he feels at 135 pounds that his strength will make a difference in his fights.

“I’m stronger and can control (my opponents) a lot better than the 145ers,” he said. “A lot of 135ers can’t get me away from them when I attack them.”

Warren’s first test at his new weight comes against a fighter who is also in need of a win after consecutive losses, Owen Evinger, at Bellator 80 on Friday night in Hollywood, Fla.

“I feel really explosive and focused on the goal at hand – winning this fight,” said Warren. “I believe that my intensity and pressure will be too much for him and I’ll finish him.”

While he intends on pushing the pace, Warren says that he won’t overdo things in an effort to make a point to silence any of his critics.

“I’m not worried about statements,” said Warren. “I know who I am and what kind of athlete I am.

“I’m just worried about being technically correct, being explosive, letting my hands go at the right time and be able to finish situations and end the match. I’m just focused on my techniques and finishing the fight.”

With this being the last time Warren will fight for Bellator on MTV 2, a win will help him make a transition when the company moves to its new home at Spike TV next year and help recapture past glory.

“I think that’s the future right now, fighting on Spike for Bellator and winning another title,” he said. “My waist is feeling a little naked without a belt right now, so I want to go out and make it so I’m comfortable again.”

Watch Bellator 80 LIVE on MMAWeekly.com, Friday at 6 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. PT.

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