Warren scored a second round knockout to win the Bellator Featherweight Title (Photo courtesy of Bellator).
Warren Defeats Joe Soto to Win Bellator Featherweight Title
San Antonio, Texas (Thursday, September 2, 2010) – For the first time in the Bellator Fighting Championships, a world title was on the line tonight at Bellator 27 from the Majestic Theatre in San Antonio, and then another first occurrence happened when that championship belt exchanged hands. After a dominating first round by the now former Bellator Featherweight Champion Joe Soto (9-1), challenger Joe Warren (6-1) exploded from the opening bell of the second round to score an eventual knockout victory just 33 seconds into the frame.
“I told you I was going to win,” Warren said after the fight. “I came in here and got the job done. I’m super happy to be a World Champion. This is the first time I’ve knocked someone out – there is a lot more to come.”
This bout started with an immediate exchange of strikes between these two fighters before Soto shook Warren at the four-minute mark with a hard left hand. Warren appeared to be hurt, and Soto jumped on the opportunity to unload some well-plotted combinations. He repeatedly dished a series of overhand left hooks that he immediately followed up with sharp right uppercuts, seemingly landing that duo of punches each time he threw them throughout the round. Warren made attempts to shoot and take it the ground where he could maximize on his grappling, but Soto was there to block his pursuits. When the first round came to a close, the match had yet to go to the ground, and only the strength of Warren’s chin appeared to get him through the opening five minutes.
The second frame of this bout was an absolutely different story. Soto came out with a bit of a nonchalant demeanor, and Warren immediately capitalized. He quickly closed on the defending champion and landed a huge right hook to his chin. Soto was noticeably affected by the punch when it dropped him to the canvas. Warren then jumped on his opponent and began to throw a series of hammer punches as Soto tried to roll out of the dangerous position. He was finally able to shake loose and get to his feet, but Warren again closed and blasted Soto with a vicious right knee as soon he got up. Soto was again back on the floor from the blow, and the referee quickly waved off the fight as the formerly undefeated Soto was a knockout victim.
The Bellator Featherweight Title is the first championship belt for Warren in his short professional career.
“This is what Bellator is all about," Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney emphatically stated. "Anyone can change the outcome of a fight with a single knee or punch in our tournament style format. It was another spectacular event in San Antonio."
In Bellator Bantamweight Tournament action tonight, Ulysses Gomez (7-1) defeated Travis Reddinger (14-3) via split decision, Ed West (14-4) overcame Bryan Goldsby (15-8) by unanimous decision, and Zack Makovsky (10-2) scored a straight 30-27 win of Nick Mamalis (10-5). All three fighters now advance to the semifinal round of the Bellator Bantamweight Tournament.