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Joe Warren plans to ‘run through’ Steve Garcia at Bellator 181, then ‘beat the hell out’ of Eduardo Dantas

Joe Warren

“The Baddest Man on the Planet” is looking to reign again over Bellator’s bantamweight division.

Having lost his 135-pound title in his last outing in December against his long time rival Eduardo Dantas, Joe Warren is ready to begin his climb back to the top, which starts this Friday at Bellator 181 in Thackerville, Okla. The former champ will be taking on 25-year-old prospect Steve Garcia on the main card of the event.

This is first time in a few years that Warren will be competing against a young prospect in Garcia. And to Warren, Garcia is nothing more than just another body on his path to get a trilogy fight with his rival.

“Yeah, he’s just a body in front of me, I’m used to fighting the best,” Warren told MMA Fighting. “I mean, he’s an up-and-coming stud, man. I don’t look past him at all, but he’s a body for me to run through to go get my belt back and beat the hell out of Dantas in the rubber match – so it’s an important fight for me. He’s a young up-and-comer, but I’m a veteran that’s ready for f*cking war, so he better hope his insurance is paid up.”

It’s hard to tell if the promotion will give Warren a title shot against Dantas, as a win over Garcia wouldn’t mean much for the former featherweight and bantamweight Bellator champion. Yet, due to the history and bad blood with the Brazilian, Warren could find himself fighting for the title again.

“I trust Bellator, I trust the organization, they pick and choose and I just show up to the fight,” Warren said regarding possibly getting a crack at the title with win at Bellator 181. “With that being said, I’m assuming I’m starting at the bottom again. This is something I’ve done three times before this, you know, start at the bottom and work my way back up to the belt. So yeah, I’m not 100 percent sure, let me beat the pants off this young kid and let’s see what happens. If it works out that way, great, if not, I’d be happy to take another fight and beat somebody’s ass, and then get the opportunity.”

Critics may wonder why the 40-year-old veteran would want to get right back in the cage with the man who beat him just a few months ago. But Warren is confident he’s made the adjustments needed to get his belt back from Dantas, and believes those adjustments will be seen on Friday.

“I’m not a young kid, I’m a veteran,” Warren explained. “I’ve already made the adjustments I needed to, the evolution of my game that I needed to do in order to be competitive after that last loss. So I’m ready to jump right back in that cage right now against Dantas and beat the shit out of him and see if he can run from me this time. With that being said, you know the fight game, you need to have big wins and then you get your opportunity to fight for the title. I’m not really used to fighting without a title on the line or having a title or coming back from a title, so this is a unique fight for me – it’s a must win. It’s kind of exciting for me because of the changes I’ve done to my style, so I’m excited to get in that cage.”

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