In a showdown between Bellator featherweight champion Joe Soto and season two tournament winner Joe Warren it was the challenger Warren who emerged victorious,and he did so in dramatic fashion.
In the opening round Soto showed total dominance in the striking, lighting up Warren with stiff jabs, left hooks and right uppercuts throughout. To his credit Warren hung in there, but with Soto also doing a good job of stuffing his takedowns things were already looking bleak for season two’s winner.
Soto came out looking supremely confident at the start of the second round, but the fight quickly took a dramatic shift in direction as Warren dropped the champion immediately with a straight right and began raining down blows.
Fighting back to his feet Soto was still trying to regain his senses as the wrestler crashed a knee into his face followed by a left hook which collapsed him back down to the canvas and brought an end to the fight via KO.
It was a remarkable come-from-behind victory for Warren who looked out of his depth in the opening round.
Bellator’s new champion now heads to DREAM later this month and hopes to become the Japanese promotion’s featherweight champion by the end of the year. Warren also stated earlier today that he now has his sights set on competing as a wrestler at the 2012 Olympics, which could keep him out of MMA action for two years.
As for Soto, this will be a tough loss to swallow given his first round showing, and he’ll perhaps look back and regret his overconfidence heading into the second against a dangerous opponent like Warren who seems to have an uncanny knack for finding a way to win.