by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
Don’t ever try to tell Joe Warren that he’s not busy enough.
The current Bellator featherweight tournament finalist is focused on his fight Thursday night against Brazilian Patricio “Pitbull” Freire, but he also has long-term goals that include multiple trips to Japan, and a bid at the 2012 Olympic Games.
Warren, who trains primarily out of his gym in Colorado, spoke to MMAWeekly Radio prior to his fight in Bellator, and stated that after his fights are finished in the United States, he’ll be heading back to Japan.
“Right now we’re Bellator, that’s who I’m fighting for. So right now I’m taking care of ‘Pitbull’ on Thursday, and then we’ll see how we can fit me in,” said Warren. “Bellator’s done in August, there’s a fight next month in Japan in Dream, and there’s a fight in September, October, November, all kinds of fights there at the end of the year. We’ll figure it out somewhere in there.
“I’m going to have the opportunity to fight in Japan three more times this year. Get some more wins over there too.”
The former University of Michigan wrestling standout says that the next Dream event won’t feature him. He’s going to take a much needed month off, but then plans on fighting in August against Bellator champion Joe Soto, assuming he gets past Freire on Thursday.
“I think that they might have that scheduled for August, so it’s pretty soon,” Warren commented about the potential fight with Soto.
After that, he will go back to Japan and fight in Dream where he competed last year in their featherweight tournament, picking up wins over Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto and former WEC champion Chase Beebe along the way. Warren also mentioned that depending on how things go, he may eventually drop down to 135 pounds and compete in the bantamweight division.
As a wrestler, Warren competed at 60 kilograms (130 pounds), so the cut to 135 should be no problem for him.
Always keeping his calendar full, after more fights in Japan, and hopefully a return to Bellator in 2011, Warren then hopes to set his sights on Olympic gold in 2012.
Warren missed the 2008 Olympics due to failing a drug test that landed him a suspension from the U.S. Anti-Doping Association, but he won’t be deterred from his ultimate goal in bringing home a medal when he’s eligible again for the 2012 games in Brazil.
“I’m confident I can win this Olympic championship in 2012,” said Warren. “I’m going to focus on this fighting right now, which I’ll probably still be fighting with Bellator, and they told me no problem, so did Dream.
“I feel it’s my last go round at it. I would have won it before and I didn’t, so it’s the only thing that I didn’t win in the sport, so it’s hanging over my head.”
Joe Warren takes on Patrcio Freire this Thursday night in Bellator for the featherweight tournament finals.