Tonight, the baddest man on the planet and Bellator bantamweight champion, Joe Warren will put his belt on the line against Marcos Galvao in a rematch that’s been four years in the making at the organization’s 135th event in Thackerville, OK. The 37-year-old Michigan native will be defending the title he won five months ago for the first time, and is confident that his skill set and preparation will net him the victory.
Speaking recently with Bloody Elbow, Warren discussed a variety of topics including his upcoming rematch with Galvao, career longevity, camp expenses, and the new Bellator regime. Here’s what he had to say:
The difference in this fight and the last one is that he will be sleeping in the Bellator cage. My hands will be up in the air and I won’t have to wait for those judges. I’m going to do my best to finish him this time. He’s been running his mouth a little bit, so I’m pretty excited about the opportunity to get in there with him again.
I didn’t start fighting until five and a half years ago, but I’ve got the sport figured out a lot better now. It’s taken a lot of work, a lot of muscle memory and a lot of training, and I have much more respect for MMA than I did in the beginning.
I’m constantly improving and getting better, so I can’t find a reason to stop. I’m having a lot of fun right now, and Bellator’s growth gives me a big stage to fight on. As far as exit strategy, they’ve kind of been grooming me for a color commentary role outside the cage, so whenever I’m finally ready to call it a career, they will help me move into that.
It costs a lot more to fight than it does to wrestle. When I was at the Olympic Training Center, all my travel was covered, all my food and expenses were covered. It’s so much more expensive to have a fight camp. You have to fly people in, pay for hotels, food, things you need to take care of when you’re on the road. I’m a family man, I’ve got a wife and two kids, so a lot more goes into my camps than just training.
I have a great support structure, so my camps have been very manageable. I train at Factory X every day, which is here close to me and my wife handles all my meals. I’m not racking up too many incidental expenses when I’m training here.
When I travel up to Sacramento to train with the Alpha Male guys for a week or two, I pay for myself and my coach, and even my strength and conditioning trainer to fly up and stay. That’s 3 round trip tickets and hotel rooms, as well. You have to figure in food and other expenses that constantly add up. Some of these guys have a different trainer for every single thing. I’m comfortable with one coach and one trainer, and I’ve kind of made it work that way.
Camps run anywhere from 10-30 grand. Some of these guys go with a whole camp up to Big Bear or some place like that. I can’t imagine how much that must cost. I’m pretty frugal when it comes to camp costs.
New Bellator vs. Old Bellator
I’ve been a champion in the old regime and in this one, and I have to say, I got along well with the old one and I get along well with this one. I’m a Bellator guy, bottom line. Spike and Viacom seem to know what they’re doing and they’ve put the right guys in to run the show. I did well under Bjorn and Tim, and now there’s all this fresh energy with Scott Coker and Rich Chou. I’m so excited to see Bellator get bigger and bigger each year. I feel like they’re looking out for my best interest, and I really don’t have any complaints at all.
You can catch Joe Warren vs. Marcos Galvao in the main event of Bellator 135 tonight on Spike TV. The broadcast starts at 9 pm EST.
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