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Joe Soto vs. Joe Warren featherweight title fight set for Bellator 27

CHICAGO, Ill. (July 30, 2010) — Bellator Fighting Championships World Featherweight Championship belt will be on the line Sept. 2nd when reigning champ Joe “The Hammer” Soto defends his title against Season 2 Featherweight Tournament Champion Joe Warren at Bellator 27 in San Antonio.

The five-round Main Event Championship fight — which will be televised LIVE nationwide from San Antonio’s Majestic Theatre on FOX Sports Net — features two fighters at the top of their games each looking to make another huge statement that they are among the world’s top 145-pound fighters.

Soto, a native of California’s Central Valley, was a virtual unknown in the MMA world before knocking off Ben Greer, Wilson Reis and Yahir Reyes to take home the first-ever Bellator Featherweight Championship belt last June. He recently improved his record to a perfect 9-0 with an impressive May 20th ground-and-pound stoppage of durable UFC veteran Diego Saraiva at Bellator 19 in Dallas. The Hammer is known for his well-rounded arsenal and finishing ability with four of his wins coming via submission and four being stopped via KO or TKO.

Warren, the former NCAA all-American wrestler at the University of Michigan and two-time Greco-Roman wrestling world champion, burst onto the MMA scene in 2009 with stunning wins over former WEC standout Chase Beebe and Japanese sensation Kid Yamamoto. In 2010, he took home Bellator’s Season 2 Featherweight Tournament Championship with inspiring consecutive victories over Eric Marriott, Georgi Karakhanyan and the previously undefeated Patricio “Pitbull” Freire, improving his overall pro MMA record to 5-1 and solidifying his place among the best featherweights in the sport.

“Of our four upcoming world title fights, the Soto-Warren fight is hugely intriguing,” said Bellator founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney. “Joe Soto is extremely talented and has made a collection of top ten rankings. Warren’s a world-class wrestler who beat one of the greatest featherweights in the world in just his second fight. He has tremendous heart and he doesn’t understand what the word ‘lose’ means. Joe Soto also comes from a national-caliber wrestling background and anyone who saw his fight with Diego Saraiva in May knows that his game is polished and world-class throughout every facet of MMA. This should be a truly spectacular fight.”

Soto said that he “can’t wait for the fight” and thinks he matches up well against Warren.

“I’m just really excited to get in there and compete against him,” Soto said. “He’s a wrestler just like I am, but I think I can out-wrestle him. If he takes me down, I’m better on my back than he is on top. If we stay standing, I think I can out-box him. No matter where the fight goes, I think I’m a much better all-around fighter than he is.”

Warren, for his part, respectfully disagreed, saying that “after September 2nd, Joe Warren will have his first belt and that’s going to be big trouble for everyone in this weight division.

“Joe Soto is a tough fighter, but he’s going to see the best Joe Warren that’s ever been in a cage,” Warren said. “We’re both great wrestlers so I’m guessing we’re going to get in there and beat the crap out of each other, but in the end I’m going to be taking that belt home with me.”

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Tickets for Bellator 27 are available at


    I expect big things from Joe warren-He is a bigger than life personality-especially for his bodyweight and size-kinda reminds me of Ric Flair-That being said-he is up against his biggest challenge thus far in Joe Soto but I see him picking him up and slamming him repeatedly for the win-remember last fight he had been terribly sick

  • Dufresne says:

    Have I ever mentioned that I love BFC and their tournaments? Cause I do.

    They’re like a more MMA-focused version of TUF: no house drama, no coach drama, no listening about how one fighter “isn’t being loyal” to their team, no BS. Period. It may not make for great “reality” TV, but it’s a flat out awesome format for “MMA” TV.

    This fight should be a pretty good throwdown, but I see Soto holding onto his belt here. He may not be as skilled at wrestling as Warren, but the guy has shown some solid BJJ. Soto has 4 submission victories on his record and they were all from separate holds (kneebar, Kimura, RNC, gogoplata), so it’s not like he’s a one trick pony.

    Warren on the other hand has never “finished” an opponent. He’s got a TKO over Beebe, but that was a doctors stoppage between rounds due to a cut.

    I’m not saying Warren doesn’t have a chance, I’m just saying that Soto is slightly more experienced and has shown more facets than Warren has.

  • Rece Rock says:

    I just hope bfc continues on after this season because I’m sure this legal issue there having with zuffa could possibly fuck there financial situation up… I really hope not… I really hope this blows over… If the reports are true the CEO fucked up.

  • hindsightufuk says:

    glad to see the title fights finally coming to fruition.

    Rece whats this legal issue?

  • Rece Rock says:

    Zuffa recieved a copy of an email thread between Ken pavia (mma agent) and bellator CEO bjorne r. Talking about recieving UFC documents and using them for bfc use…sooo zuffa has to assume these are confidential documents and proceeded to make this a legal issue… The docs might be generic and this may blow over but if they are deemed confidential and a zuffa intellectual property then this may be a big problem for a co. The size of bfc… I hope for the best…


    Joe Warren needs to get into the WEC-Just imagine his ultra aggressive style against Urijah-Miguel-and Cruz

  • cutman says:

    Warren has really earned a lot of respect as a fighter; and he has that something special, a belief in himself that few people have… He has already fought guys that have good MMA skills and came though pretty good. That being said this fight is a toss up,both guys have great cardio; Joe is a good well rounded guy with subs, great wrestling and striking, Warren has a lot of confidence and is top tier world class wrestler,with a never ending attack… Sweeeeet fight if you ask me……


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