Updated: Oct 18, 2018
Bellator 181 is just a few days away and veteran Joe Warren is invigorated and ready for a brawl! The former three-time Bellator MMA champion faces Steve Garcia Jr. this Friday, live on SPIKE TV. Garcia Jr. is a 25 year old up and comer who currently holds a 7-1 Bellator MMA record.
“The Baddest Man on the Planet” lost his last bout nearly 7-months ago in a bantamweight title fight against Eduardo Dantas, which also accounted for Warren’s first decision loss since his Bellator MMA debut back in 2010.
Over the last 6 months, Joe Warren has been extremely focused and preparing for Bellator 181 with his team at Factory X out of Denver, CO. I recently had the opportunity to sit down and ask the legendary athlete some professional and personal questions.
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What is the story behind your nickname “The Baddest Man on the Planet”?
“China 2006, I won the Greco-Roman World Championship, walking off the mat there were a few hundred reporters snapping photos asking me how I feel? My answer…..”I feel like the BADDEST Man on the Planet”! The nickname stuck.”
You have fought in 11 Main Events, 4 co-main events and have 7 Bellator Title Fights! Is there one particular Title fight that is more memorable than the others? If so, which one and why?
“My 1st Bellator MMA world title (featherweight) against Joe Soto in San Antonio, Texas.
That title made me a 2 sport world champion (The only athlete to win a Wrestling world championship and an MMA world championship). I was up a weight class and no one had given me a chance to win.”
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
“I hate to lose!! I want to be the best. I used to be scared of not being able to achieve what I put my mind to. That is what has pushed me to become the best!”
Do you have a favorite city to fight in?
“Thackerville, Oklahoma at the Winstar World Casino.”
Who or what was your biggest influence during your youth?
“Dan Gable; The University of Iowa wrestling team. While I was growing up, the Iowa wrestling team was a dynasty. I would spend every summer going to Iowa intensive/technique wrestling camps. These camps are where I became mentally strong and learned how to become a winner; and to always believe in myself!”
Do you have a proudest moment or memory of your wrestling or MMA career?
“Winning a Greco-Roman World Championship. I am one of only five Americans to ever achieve this goal.”
What was the best advice you were ever given?
“To always believe in myself! The skies the limit! If you believe it, you can do it!”
You have held 3 Bellator World Titles, you’re a 2x Pan American Wrestling Gold Medalist, World Cup Champ…and this is just the start of your list of achievements.
Is there a particular title or achievement that means the most to you?
“My beautiful family means the most to me. My wife Christy, son Xandr (9yrs old) and daughter Maddox (8yrs old) are by far the best achievements in my life. Now, as far as my athletic career, being the only two-division Bellator MMA champion…featherweight and bantamweight.”
What would be your ultimate achievement?
“I would like to finish my athletic career and be able to find a job to financially take care of my family for the rest of my life.”
What do you like to do in your spare time?
“I'm a family man. If I am not in the gym, I am taking care of my family.”
What is the most important lesson learned since you began fighting professionally?
“Leave everything in the cage so you have no doubts when you leave the cage.
Go first! WIN!”
If you could change one Bellator rule, what would it be?
“The Champion’s Clause!”
*Bellator MMA Champion's Clause states: “If, at any time during the term, FIGHTER is declared the champion of his weight class, a Tournament winner, or a Tournament runner-up, the Term shall be automatically extended for a period commencing on the Termination Date and ending on the earlier of (i) eighteen (18) months from the Termination Date, or (ii) the date in which FIGHTER has participated in three (3) bouts promoted by PROMOTER following the Termination Date (“Extension Term”). Any reference to the Term herein shall be deemed to include a reference to the extension term where applicable.”
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