There’s a reason that two bantamweights with two-fight losing streaks headlined Bellator 80 – one of them is Joe Warren. Though the thirty six year old headed into Friday’s fight against Owen Evinger having lost his last two by brutal KO, his outspoken personality and world class wrestling pedigree still bring a certain degree of cache with him every time he fights.
There was a great degree of excitement over the former wrestling world champion’s decision to get into MMA nearly four years ago. When he beat two former MMA world champs in his first two fights Warren showed that the hype was warranted.
Observers had to wonder how much longer the aging fighter would be able to compete safely in MMA at a high level, however, when he was hurt badly in 2011 by Alexis Villa and then again last March by Pat Curran. On Friday night Warren won a unanimous decision over Evinger on the strength of his ground and pound attack.
Though his win over Evinger, who now has lost three in a row, doesn’t prove that Warren is once more ready for title fights, at least he didn’t take undue damage to his brain again this time out. He may have bought himself more time in MMA.
Sharp Striking & a Quick Standup
Alexander Volkov earned legions of decent-minded fans when he beat the crap out of Brett Rogers a few weeks ago with his diverse stand up striking attack. In his heavyweight tournament semi-final bout against Brazilian Vinicius Queiroz the Russian used his powerful striking once again, with an assist from the referee in the second round, to get the win.
Queiroz won the first round by dragging Volkov to the mat and controlling him there. In the second round the Brazilian began eating solid shots from Volkov but was able to once more take the young Russian down. Once the referee stood the men up quickly, however, Volkov capitalized by finishing Queiroz off with hard rights against the fence.
Rad Martinez advanced to the finals of this season’s featherweight tournament with a unanimous decision over Wagnney Fabiano. Fabiano fought hard until the final bell but Martinez was just a bit sharper over three rounds, mostly on the feet, and earned the win.
Fabiano has now lost two out of his last three contests while Martinez extends his win-streak to five. For the complete quick results from Bellator 80, check out MMAFighting.
- Elias Cepeda