Undefeated Bellator featherweight champion Joe Soto (9-0) will defend his title tonight for the very first time, as he takes on Bellator’s season two featherweight tournament champion Joe Warren (5-1) at the Majestic Theater in San Antonio, Texas. Their bout will serve as the main event for Bellator 27, which will broadcast live in prime time on FOX Sports Net.
ProMMAnow.com will provide live results and play-by-play commentary for the event starting at approximately 7 p.m. CT.
While Soto holds an experience advantage as well as having the more well-rounded game on paper, Warren is very strong, very quick and seems to possess an unshakable belief in himself. And then of course, there’s Warren’s wrestling.
Speaking at Wednesday’s weigh-ins, Soto spoke about how the two match-up:
“I think I’m a lot better rounded that he is. This isn’t a wrestling, this is MMA. We don’t know whose wrestling is going to be better until we get in there. I’m more well rounded – I’m going to kick his ass.”
“I think my overall game will give him problems. I’m an MMA veteran, and he should be worried about my game. Warren likes to do a lot of talking, and is doing a nice job of selling the fight, but he definitely has some holes I feel like I can exploit. As always, I’m prepared for any situation.”
Soto is definitely no slouch on the ground, having wrestled in college at Iowa Central Community College alongside the likes of current UFC fighters Jon Jones and Cain Velasquez. However, Warren says if it turns into a wrestling bout, he has the clear advantage:
“If the fight turns into a straight wrestling match, it’s going to get really interesting because flat out, I’m the better wrestler. Either way, neither of us want to lose, so the fans are in for a great match.”
Soto said there’s only one area of the game where Joe Warren is better:
“All he does better than me is talk s***. Talking is the only thing he does better. He keeps a good pace , but I don’t see anything in the cage he does better than me. He’s got weak punches when he’s on top, nothing I’m scared of.”
Warren said he plans to keep the fight at a pace that will give Soto trouble:
“No one can handle my pace. I can’t even handle it. I’m going to push even harder than I ever have before. I don’t plan on leaving without that belt.”
“I don’t think it’s going to be the pace that determines this, I think it’s going to be all the positions that we get into. Warren’s going to get into a lot of unfamiliar places that he’s not going to be comfortable with.”
Here are photos and more quotes from each fighter at the Bellator 27 weigh-ins on Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2010:
Joe Soto quotes:
“It’s going to take a different opponent for me to lose this belt – not Joe Warren.”
“I’ve grown a lot in this sport, but I feel like I haven’t gotten the opportunity to use all of my tools. Maybe Joe Warren will push me to use all of those tools.
“It would suck to lose to him; I never want to lose to a dirt bag like that.”
“I want to be not only the best 145 pounder in the world, but one of the best fighters ever. The pound for pound best ever. That’s my goal. I want to be a legend.”
Joe Warren quotes:
“I’m a born Champion. It doesn’t matter if it’s wrestling or MMA.”
“I want to do this to get some credibility. Once I win the championships people will know that I am an all around fighting professional.”
“Winning the belt is going to mean that I’ve met a goal and I can set goals and reach them. This is really important for me and my family.”
“As far as my potential, I’m about 20 percent of where I can be. I’ve got 80 more percent coming. Any competitor should be scared as hell. Just because I’m older doesn’t mean I’m not nasty.”
“I never thought I would even be fighting at 145. Winning a belt at this weight means I can do anything.”
“I’m so happy this fight is here. This fight been a real long time coming, and I just don’t want to let this opportunity pass me by. Every fight I had in Season 2 was the biggest of my career, and now the chance to win the belt is here. This is what I do for a living, so it’s time to get busy.”
“I’ve just got to stay focused on the core fundamentals of MMA, push hard and stay mentally tough. In my fight with Pitbull, things weren’t going my way after that first round. During every fight there is a time when you decide if you want to win or lose the fight, and after that first round, I decided I wanted it more. It was a battle, but I stayed mentally tough, and ended up winning the fight.”