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Bellator champ Joe Warren on CM Punk: 'He might be a great fighter, we don’t know'

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Bellator’s bantamweight champion Joe Warren got ready for the holidays with a wrestling match against his good friend and training partner Scott Jorgensen. The two met not once but twice at the Grapple at the Garden event on Sunday.

The former All-American from the University of Michigan wrestler got the better of Jorgensen both times, and he joked after that Jorgensen got a little confused on the mats, forgetting that it was strictly wrestling.

"I’m the best on these mats here," Warren said. "Scott’s one of the best wrestlers I know, and we were coming after each other. I do that body attack, and you can only hit your back, you do get a chance. I was trying to get out of bounds, and he pulled guard. Okay? And I pinned him. And I laughed and said, Scott, you’re not supposed to pull guard. And he said, s---, I’ve been doing this for six years. Then he called me out after King Mo [Muhammad Lawal] and Rolles [Gracie] did their match, and I was all excited, and we got to go again."

Warren will put his 135-pound belt on the line on March 27 against Marcos Galvao, whom he scored a decision against back at Bellator 41 in 2011 when both were fighting as featherweights. The so-called "Baddest Man on the Planet" won the bantamweight title against Eduardo Dantas at Bellator 128 in October, and now he’ll continue to face what he calls the "baddest" Brazilians on the planet going forward.

"I think I’ll finish that match faster this time than last time against Galvao," he said. "He’s a great fighter, I get to give him an opportunity to have a rematch, and you know…they just picked the toughest Brazilian they can find and throw it against me in Bellator. I feel like it’s me against the baddest Brazilians they can find. And they’re some of the greatest competitors I’ve ever worked with, and I’m honored to get in there and go against them."

At 38, Warren has won five fights in a row by building around his wrestling base. That wrestling pedigree, though, is still what people think about when they talk about the 5-foot-6 Warren, who came into MMA late in the game at 32 years old. His adaptation phase has been an on-going one, but he’s always had wrestling to fall back on.

Asked what he thought of the UFC signing Phil Brooks -- better known as pro wrestler CM Punk -- to a contract, Warren said that even with the lack of experience, he may surprise some people.

"You know, CM Punk, he’s a good guy -- he’s a great guy," Warren said. "I’ve met him a few times with Chael [Sonnen], and he’s always extremely nice to me. I’ve got nothing but good things to say about him. If he gets an opportunity to get in that cage, let him do his talking with his hands, and we’ll go from there. He might be a great fighter, we don’t know."

"You can learn fast, but you’ve got to come from a good pedigree that gets that opportunity. I wish him the best."

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