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joe warren

Joe Warren first stepped foot inside the Bellator cage in 2010 with a decision victory over Eric Marriott.

At the time, the former standout wrestler was just 2-1 and coming off a tough submission defeat to current ONE champion Bibiano Fernandes.

But the prospects of Warren as an MMA fighter were only starting to grow, and Bellator picked up a valuable piece by claiming his rights.

Fast-forward six years later and Warren is the only two-division champion in promotion history, and on the cusp of competing yet again for more hardware.

He’ll main event this Friday night’s Bellator 151 card against top prospect Darrion Caldwell on Spike TV.

“I have been saying for years that Bellator is where the cool kids come to fight,” Warren said during an exclusive interview with FightLine recently. “Now, they are bringing in more and more top names and I am honored to welcome all these studs into the Bellator family. I’ve been here since the beginning and have had three belts (featherweight, bantamweight and interim bantamweight titles); that’s a tough thing to do.

“I am just honored that people are taking that step and coming to fight (in Bellator). To see what huge numbers the shows have been doing; it just gets cooler every single fight.”

Warren, who won the 2006 FILA Wrestling World Championships Senior Greco-Roman gold medal and was gold medalist that year at the Pan American Championships, is 6-1 over his last seven. His lone loss came to Marcos Galvao last March, costing him the bantamweight title.

With a record of 13-4 overall and 11-3 with Bellator, the 39-year-old Warren holds notable wins over L.C. Davis, Eduardo Dantas, Joe Soto, Patricio “Pitbull” Freire and Georgi Karakhanyan.

“When I came out of Dream, I had the choice of signing with either the UFC or Bellator,” Warren said. “Bellator really wanted me and paid me what I deserved. The UFC saw me as just another guy.

“Bellator has never told me something that they haven’t done. They have always held up their end of the bargain, and now that Viacom is behind them, they are making big moves and hosting big shows. People come to watch and it is exciting to be part of the Bellator movement.”

Warren captured his first Bellator title in 2010 when he knocked out Soto in the second round. He claimed the interim bantamweight title four years later with a decision over Rafael Silva and unified the titles later that year with a decision over Dantas.

In Caldwell, Warren will be facing another former standout wrestler, but that is about all he knows about his opponent.

“I haven’t watched tape of any fighter ever,” he said. “I am usually such an underdog that I don’t want to see something to be nervous. The task at hand is to win and I know how to win better than anyone.

“I’m just going to do what I’m suppose to do and not worry about what the other guy is doing. To me, (Caldwell’s) just a body standing between me and the belt, and I’m going to run through him to get (the belt) back.”

The fact that the two share a wrestling background isn’t much of a common aspect, according to “The Baddest Man on the Planet.” At the University of Michigan, Warren was a third place finisher and Big Ten runner-up. Caldwell, competing at North Carolina State University, won a national title and finished with 109 career victories.

“I am a world champion Greco-Roman stud, while he is a former Div. I national champion, which is a tough thing to do,” Warren said. “Fighting in the cage, I believe my MMA wrestling is superior to him. I’ve been tested before and I am expecting to be tested again by a young stud.

ufc fight night 84

The Octagon set up shop Saturday for a special event in London that aired entirely on UFC Fight Pass.

UFC Fight Night 84 featured the return of Anderson Silva, as he went toe-to-toe with England’s own Michael Bisping.

Despite taking a nasty knee to the face at the end of the third round that left him looking knocked out, Bisping was declared the victor via decision. He earned the win on all three scorecards, 48-47, to defeat the former champion.

It wasn’t pretty in the co-main event, but former Strikeforce champion Gegard Mousasi avoided a losing streak and turned back the efforts of Thales Leites. Mousasi was effective with his striking and takedown defense vs. the former title contender.

For the first time in 10 fights, Tom Breese was forced to go the distance, but the unbeaten Brit came out on top over Keita Nakamura. The Tristar Gym fighter improved to 10-0 in his career.

London’s own Brad Pickett got the arena buzzing, earning a split decision over Francisco Rivera. The win snapped a three-fight losing streak for Pickett, who admitted retirement and being cut from the UFC was on his mind before and during the contest.

In the featured bout on the prelims, Makwan Amirkhani settled his differences with Mike Wilkinson, earning a decision victory. Amirkhani improved to 13-2 in his career, while Wilkinson fell to 9-2 overall with the loss.

Marlon Vera did not make a new friend in referee Marc Goddard, constantly being admonished in a decision loss to Davey Grant. Goddard took a point away and was all over Vera for his illegal moves throughout the contest.

Scott Askham got the crowd going again on the prelims after delivering a head-kick knockout vs. Chris Dempsey. In a back-and-forth first round, Askham connected and finished with just 15 seconds left. British prospect Arnold Allen was able to turn back the effort of game veteran Yaotzin Meza, earning a decision. He put together a furious combo to end it, but the bell sounded as Meza went out.

It took four fights before we went to a full decision, as Rustam Khabilov defeated Norman Parke in a key lightweight contest between fighters. We followed that up with another decision, as Krzysztof Jotko pushed his win streak to three over Brad Scott.

Heavyweights Daniel Omielanczuk and Jarjis Danho provided us with a technical decision which resulted in a win for Omielanczuk. The bout was stopped in the third round after what Jarjis said was a low blow.

We started the night quickly with two finishes right off the bat, as David Teymur bested fellow Ultimate Fighter alum Martin Svensson in the second round. Teemu Packalen followed that up with a 24-second submission of Thibault Gouti, dealing him his first career loss in the process.

The official attendance was announced at 16,734, while Silva and Bisping scored “Fight of the Night” honors. “Performance of the Night” bonuses went to Askham and Packalen.

Complete results can be found below:

Michael Bisping def. Anderson Silva via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47)

Gegard Mousasi over Thales Leites via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)

Tom Breese def. Keita Nakamura via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Brad Pickett def. Francisco Rivera via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Makwan Amirkhani def. Mike Wilkinson via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)

Davey Grant def. Marlon Vera via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)

Scott Askham def. Chris Dempsey via KO (head-kick) at 4:45 of Round 1

Arnold Allen def. Yaotzin Meza via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Krzysztof Jotko def. Brad Scott via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)

Rustam Khabilov def. Norman Parke via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Daniel Omielanczuk def. Jarjis Danho via majority technical decision (29-29, 29-28, 29-28)

Teemu Packalen def. Thibault Gouti via submission (rear-naked choke) at :24 of Round 1

David Teymur def. Martin Svensson via TKO (strikes) at 1:26 of Round 2

ufc results

Welcome to FightLine’s live coverage of UFC Fight Night 84.

Today’s special event comes to us from The O2 Arena in London and airs entirely on UFC Fight Pass.

But this is no second-rate event. Instead, it features a former champion, a native England fighter, a former Strikeforce titleholder, an ex-UFC contender and an intriguing prospect – and that’s just the main card.

Michael Bisping, fighting in London for the first time since 2010, will take on former UFC champion Anderson Silva in a five-round middleweight main event. Bisping has won two straight, while Silva has been sidelined due to a suspension for a failed drug test following his return last January vs. Nick Diaz.

In the co-main event, Gegard Mousasi meets former title challenger Thales Leites, while Tom Breese puts his perfect record on the line vs. Keita Nakamura in another main card bout. The four-fight main card kicks off at 4 p.m. ET with another English fighter, Brad Pickett, battling Francisco Rivera.

Fights set for the prelims, which start at 12:45 p.m. ET, of note include Makwan Amirkhani vs. Mike Wilkinson, Davey Grant vs. Marlon Vera, Arnold Allen vs. Yaotzin Meza and Norman Parke vs. Rustam Khabilov.

Now, let’s get to the action:

PRELIMINARY CARD

David Teymur vs. Martin Svensson

We begin the event in the lightweight division, as David Teymur (3-1) and Martin Svensson (14-5) make their Octagon debuts against one another. They were members of Team Conor McGregor on the recent season of The Ultimate Fighter.

Round 1: Very patient approach from both fighters here, as they are getting adjusted to one another and the size of the cage. Svensson gains the advantage in a scramble, grabbing hold of Teymur. He’s the more experienced fighter, but is unable to get the takedown. Teymur catches a kick and Svensson tries to entice him to the ground, but he’ll have none of it. Takedown for Teymur to likely secure the opening round.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Teymur

Round 2: Teymur comes right out as the aggressor. Teymur has him hurt and rocked and this one is all over. Huge uppercut rocked Svensson and he followed up with a few strikes to end it.

David Teymur def. Martin Svensson via TKO (strikes) at 1:26 of Round 2

Teemu Packalen vs. Thibault Gouti

We’ll stay in the lightweight ranks with Teemu Packalen (7-1) and Thibault Gouti (11-0) square off. Gouti, a former professional squash player, replaces Lukasz Sajewski on short notice.

Round 1: Packalen rocks him just seconds into the round. He tries for some ground-and-pound, Gouti rolls to his stomach and Packalen grabs the back. He locks up a rear-naked choke and this one is over.

Teemu Packalen def. Thibault Gouti via submission (rear-naked choke) at :24 of Round 1

Daniel Omielanczuk vs. Jarjis Danho

All the way up to the heavyweight division as we try to keep the finish streak intact with Daniel Omielanczuk (17-5-1) welcoming the unbeaten Jarjis Danho (6-0) to the UFC. Omielanczuk picked up a win last year to even his Octagon mark to 2-2. Danho has earned all six of his career wins via stoppage.

Round 1: These two like to finish fights early, so it’s likely we’ll push our finish streak to three in a row to start the card. Huge kick from Omielanczuk to the body and they trade leather. More shots are traded and they find a mark, as Janho gets the better off the exchange. Omielanczuk with a left to the chin that has him hurt and he’s going on the attack. Another knee lands, but there is no quit in Janho. Series of knees from in tight by the Polish fighter, but he just misses on a nasty elbow.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Janho

Round 2: Leg kicks by Omielanczuk, as he’s looking to chop down Danho. Despite looking to be in better shape coming in, Danho might be suffering from Octagon jitters. He’s slowing down, backing against the cage quite often in retreat mode. Huge shot to the body by Omielanczuk as he takes a deep breath and fires off another. Danho comes alive, pushing forward and trying to connect. Omielanczuk pounces and Janho appears to want out. It was hard to tell if it was even a strike or just exhaustion from Janho. We have an illegal strike it appears, as Janho had a hand down and Omielanczuk connected with a knee. Didn’t hear a point deduction, as Leon Roberts just issues a warning. Omielanczuk pounces again and this one might be over soon. He’s all over him with shots against the fence, but again, Janho survives. Sorry, feel like Joe Rogan a bit with the premature finish comments, but Janho decided to continue and fight.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Omielanczuk

Round 3: The corner of Danho was pushing him to get “angry,” but he looks to just be going through the motions. Low blow takes Danho off his feet and we have a break. Upon replay, Danho threw a knee and Omielanczuk connected with what looked like a legal strike just below the belt. The doctor is coming in to check things over now and this one is all over.

Daniel Omielanczuk def. Jarjis Danho via majority technical decision (29-29, 29-28, 29-28)

ufc fight night 84

In a “Fight of the Night” performance at UFC 120, Michael Bisping picked up a victory over Yoshihiro Akiyama.

You can see that entire fight again in the video below as Bisping prepares for his main event bout vs. Anderson Silva this Saturday at UFC Fight Night 84.

ufc fight night 84

Remember when we all believed nothing could stop Anderson Silva?

Stephan Bonnar thought he could be the one to take down “The Spider,” agreeing to face him at UFC 153.

That didn’t end well for Bonnar, as Silva earned another first round finish.

Now, as the Brazilian prepares to return this Saturday vs. Michael Bisping at UFC Fight Night 84, you can relive that Silva-Bonnar matchup right here.

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