Former University of Michigan wrestler and current Bellator bantamweight Joe Warren has decided to continue wrestling after accomplishing his goals in Bellator.
In a recent interview with MMAJunkie.com, Warren explained, “for the world championships to be in the U.S., which is a very rare thing in the first place, and for it to be in (Las) Vegas in 2015, it gives me the opportunity to set that goal of maybe making a world team and being able to win something else in Greco in the U.S. It would be an honor to do that.”
Before making a run for the 2015 World Wrestling Championships, Warren said that there are a few things he would like to accomplish in Bellator first.
“I always set my goals really high, so I’d like to win this fight first against Travis Marx, get an opportunity to get that (Bellator) belt, and then maybe win a world championship wrestling belt.”
Warren will get his chance to accomplish his first goal tonight when takes on Travis Marx. If he wins, he will get a title shot against Bellator Bantamweight Champ Eduardo Dantas sometime next year. And if he beats Dantas and becomes the champion, he will happily pursue his wrestling aspirations.
If Warren’s plans come to fruition, competing in wrestling would not be a new activity for him.
Before making the transition into mixed martial arts, Warren had an impressive amateur wrestling resume. The former state champ has a long list of wrestling accomplishments to his name, including: a gold medal at the 2006 World Championships, another gold at the 2007 Pan American Championships, and more golds at the U.S. championships for an impressive three years in a row starting at 2005. He would have competed in the Olympics in 2008, but got busted for marijuana after a blood test.
His second chance came at the 2012 Olympics but he suffered a knockout loss to Pat Curran that ended up ruining his plans to compete that year as well.
“My thing is I will need to stop fighting completely to be able to do something like that. It’s a whole different animal. The last time with the Olympics, I fought up until four weeks before the Olympic team trials, and I was knocked out by Curran. It threw a big wrench into that,” Warren told MMAJunkie.com
As of now, the one man standing in his way from accomplishing his goals is Travis Marx. Warren will have to defeat him tonight if he wants to get a title shot against Eduardo Dantas.