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Monday, December 15, 2014

No Holds Barred: Joe Warren on Grapple at the Garden and March 27 Bellator Title Defense 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with Bellator MMA bantamweight champion Joe Warren.

His next fight will be a title defense against Marcos Galvao at Bellator 134 on Friday, March 27, at the Winstar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Oklahoma, and will be shown live in the U.S. on Spike TV.

Before that, he will be returning to the mat to compete in wrestling, at the third annual Grapple at the Garden.

His team, Team Joe Warren, will face Team Renzo Gracie in an eight-match freestyle wrestling dual meet.

This event takes place Sunday, December 21, at the world's most famous arena, Madison Square Garden, in New York. Joe Warren's opponent will be UFC fighter Scott Jorgensen, who wrestled at Boise State University where he was a three-time Pac-10 Champion. Joe Warren also was a 2006 world champion in Greco-Roman wrestling and a 2000 NCAA Division I All-American wrestler at Michigan.

At Grapple at the Garden, numerous dual meets will take place involving 25 college teams, as well as high school and youth tournaments.

The main event will feature four-time NCAA Div. I champion at Cornell, Kyle Dake of the U.S., competing in Greco-Roman wrestling against Arsen Julfalakyan of Armenia, a 2014 world champion and 2012 Olympic silver medalist in Greco-Roman wrestling. The co-main event will feature two-time world bronze medalist and 2012 Olympian in freestyle wrestling, Tervel Dlagnev of the U.S., against 2004 Olympic gold medalist and five-time world champion in freestyle wrestling, Khadshimourad Gatsalov of Russia, in a freestyle wrestling match.

These two matches and the Team Joe Warren-Team Renzo Gracie dual meet will air live on pay-per-view TV.

We spoke with Joe Warren by phone Sunday.

Commenting on the connections between wrestling and jiu-jitsu, he said, "We're trying to just show that wrestling is the base, is the pedigree of all the rest of these sports and mixed martial arts, jiu-jitsu, whatever you need to go into." He added, "Usually a good wrestler can get the job done."

He continued, "We respect the jiu-jitsu guys and the way they train and their mindset." This event was designed to "mingle" athletes with backgrounds in wrestling, jiu-jitsu, and MMA, as well as two or three of those disciplines.

"This year it kind of blew up even bigger."

His upcoming title defense against Marcos Galvao will be a rematch from Bellator 41 on April 16, 2011. In that fight, a three-round, non-title, catchweight fight. Joe Warren won a unanimous decision, although with some controversy. He explained that in that fight, he had only been fighting professionally for two years, that he has advanced since then, and was then a wrestler doing MMA but now is a mixed martial artist.

We also discussed his plans to be a color commentator, the potential for some type of real professional wrestling to succeed, and much more.

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