Bellator Fighting Championships featherweight titleholder Joe Warren talks the talk about as well as anyone in mixed martial arts. Now, he gets to walk the walk again, albeit with his belt safe and secure.
Warren tipped the scales at 136.8 pounds for his three-round, non-title 137-pound catchweight fight with WEC veteran Marcos Galvao (136.6) at Bellator 41 on Saturday at the Cocopah Resort and Casino in Yuma, Ariz.
An accomplished Greco-Roman wrestler who won gold at the 2006 Pan-Am Games, the 2006 FILA Wrestling World Championships and the 2007 Wrestling World Cup, Warren was a collegiate All-American at the University of Michigan. In the midst of a four-fight winning streak, the 34-year-old last appeared at Bellator 27 in September, when he knocked out Joe Soto to capture the promotion’s featherweight crown at the Majestic Theater in San Antonio. Warren burst on the MMA scene in 2009, as he reached the semifinals of the Dream featherweight grand prix in Japan, debuting with a first-round technical knockout over former WEC bantamweight champion Chase Beebe before outpointing Japanese star Norifumi Yamamoto.
Galvao, 29, has rattled off three consecutive victories since his violent knockout loss to Damacio Page at WEC 39 in March 2009. The two-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion last fought under the Ring of Combat banner in December, when he took a unanimous decision over Ryan Vaccaro and won the promotion’s featherweight championship at the Tropicana Resort and Casino in Atlantic City, N.J. Galvao, a Nova União-trained Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, has secured eight of his nine career wins by decision.
Bellator 41, which will air on MTV2 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, also features a pair of Season 4 featherweight tournament semifinals: Patricio Freire (146.2) versus Wilson Reis (145.6) and Daniel Straus (145.4) versus Kenny Foster (146).