Tonight, we will all get to see the first title fight in Bellator history as reigning champion Joe Soto takes on Joe Warren for the featherweight title.
Joe Soto has been very calm and laid back leading up to this fight, until now anyway. It goes without saying that Joe Warren has been talking smack like never before.
In a press release received by B/R MMA from Bellator FC, both Soto and Warren had a few things to say leading in to their fight tonight.
First, here's what the usually soft-spoken Soto had to say:
“I don’t think it’s going to be the pace that determines this, I think it’s going to be all the positions that we get into. Warren’s going to get into a lot of unfamiliar places that he’s not going to be comfortable with.”
“I think I’m a lot better rounded that he is. This isn’t wrestling, this is MMA. We don’t know whose wrestling is going to be better until we get in there. I’m more well rounded; I’m going to kick his ass.”
“It’s going to take a different opponent for me to lose this belt...not Joe Warren.”
“I’ve grown a lot in this sport, but I feel like I haven’t gotten the opportunity to use all of my tools. Maybe Joe Warren will push me to use all of those tools.
“It would suck to lose to him; I never want to lose to a dirt bag like that.”
“All he does better than me is talk s***. Talking is the only thing he does better. He keeps a good pace, but I don’t see anything in the cage he does better than me. He’s got weak punches when he’s on top, nothing I’m scared of.”
“I want to be not only the best 145-pounder in the world, but one of the best fighters ever. The pound for pound best ever. That’s my goal. I want to be a legend.”
“I think my overall game will give him problems. I’m an MMA veteran, and he should be worried about my game.
"Warren likes to do a lot of talking, and is doing a nice job of selling the fight, but he definitely has some holes I feel like I can exploit. As always, I’m prepared for any situation.”
Those are some pretty bold statements from a fighter who is usually as humble as they come. On the other hand, it is well documented that Joe Warren isn't afraid to speak his mind and does so whenever he has the chance.
Here is what Warren had to say:
“I’m a born Champion. It doesn’t matter if it’s wrestling or MMA.”
“I want to do this to get some credibility. Once I win the championships, people will know that I am an all-around fighting professional.”
“Winning the belt is going to mean that I’ve met a goal and I can set goals and reach them. This is really important for me and my family.”
“No one can handle my pace. I can’t even handle it. I’m going to push even harder than I ever have before. I don’t plan on leaving without that belt.”
“As far as my potential, I’m about 20 percent of where I can be. I’ve got 80 more percent coming. Any competitor should be scared as hell. Just because I’m older doesn’t mean I’m not nasty.”
“I never thought I would even be fighting at 145. Winning a belt at this weight means I can do anything.”
“I’m so happy this fight is here. This fight been a real long time coming, and I just don’t want to let this opportunity pass me by.
"Every fight I had in Season 2 was the biggest of my career, and now the chance to win the belt is here. This is what I do for a living, so it’s time to get busy.”
“I’ve just got to stay focused on the core fundamentals of MMA, push hard and stay mentally tough.
"In my fight with Pitbull, things weren’t going my way after that first round. During every fight, there is a time when you decide if you want to win or lose the fight, and after that first round, I decided I wanted it more.
"It was a battle, but I stayed mentally tough, and ended up winning the fight.”
“If the fight turns into a straight wrestling match, it’s going to get really interesting because flat out, I’m the better wrestler. Either way, neither of us want to lose, so the fans are in for a great match.”
Will the young, hungry champion be able to retain his belt? Will the older, less experienced quote machine be able to win his first MMA championship tonight? We will find out in a matter of hours.
Play on, Playa.
You can follow me and my rants on Twitter @JasonSchielke.
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