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Joe Warren knocks out Joe Soto to become featherweight champion at Bellator 27

PRESS RELEASE / SAN ANTONIO, TX. (September 2, 2010) — Bellator Fighting Championships crowned a new Featherweight World Champion in front of a boisterous crowd at the Majestic Theatre in San Antonio. Fans were treated to a full card of electrifying fights that included one of the best comebacks in the history of the sport.

In the night’s main event the Bellator World Featherweight Championship was on the line as “The Baddest Man on the Planet”, Joe Warren, took on defending Bellator World Champion Joe “The Hammer” Soto in the first ever defense of a Bellator World Title.

The first round was all Soto, as the undefeated champion put on a boxing clinic, delivering a series of devastating punches to what appeared to be a completely outmatched Warren. As the first round came to a close, a battered and bruised Warren headed to his corner shaken, but not discouraged.

In round two, Warren stormed out of the gate on a mission, delivering a overhand right to the head of Soto that sent “The Hammer” reeling to the canvas. After scrambling back to his feet, it was a crushing knee to the chin that finished the fight, establishing Warren as the newly crowned Bellator World Featherweight Champion.

“I told you I was going to win,” proclaimed an overjoyed Warren after the fight. “I came in here and got the job done. I’m super happy to be a World Champion. This is the first time I’ve knocked someone out – there is a lot more to come.”

Chairman and CEO of Bellator Fighting Championships, Bjorn Rebney, was thoroughly impressed by Joe Warren’s heart and courage, stating, “If you saw Joe Warren’s fight with Patricio Pitbull in Season 2, most people would not of made it out of that first round, but Warren has that immeasurable heart that allows him to push forward. Tonight was no different. When I sat down with Warren a year ago he told me that he was willing to die in there to get that title. Most people just say that, but when he says it you believe it. What a great performance. We have a tremendously talented and rapidly evolving featherweight champion.”

Kicking off the night was a Quarterfinal Bantamweight Tournament matchup between Ed “Wild” West and Bryan Goldsby. Both fighters began feeling each other out on the feet before West attempted a series of dazzling leg lock submissions attempts that impressed the crowd and the judges.

In the final period, “Wild” West came out swinging for the fences, connecting with a number of heavy strikes to Goldsby, which ultimately led to a unanimous decision win for the talented West.

In other Bantamweight Tournament action, Nick “Garfield” Mamalis took on Zach “Fun Size” Makovsky a grueling back and forth three round battle. Both fighters flexed their wrestling skills in a match filled with crisp strikes and impressive slams. The momentum swung back and forth, with Markovsky shaking off everything Mamalis tried to throw at him early. However, Mamalis landed powerful takedown slam in the second round that left Makovsky in a daze.

As the fight moved to the third and final round, Fun Size dug deep and secured a rear-naked-choke that led Makovsky to an impressive 30-27 unanimous decision victory.

Rounding out the Bantamweight Tournament was a quarterfinal match between submission specialist Ulysses “Useless” Gomez and Travis “Hurricane” Reddinger. Gomez controlled the first round with consistent leg kicks and looked to end the fight early by applying a tight guillotine to Reddinger, but was unsuccessful in his attempt.

Rounds two and three saw similar action, with each fighter delivering numerous takedowns throughout the fight while Gomez controlled the bulk of the action on his way to a hard fought split decision victory (29-28, 28-29, 29-28).

“This is what Bellator is all about; anyone can change the outcome of a fight with a single knee or punch in our tournament style format,” said Rebney. “It was another spectacular event in San Antonio.

You can catch an action-packed Bellator 27 highlight show on NBC late Saturday night.

Below is a full list of results from Bellator 27:

Gilbert Jimenez def. Aaron Barringer via Unanimous Decision
Richard Odoms def. Dale Mitchell via Split Decision
Andrew Craig def. Rodrigo Pinheiro via TKO Round 3 (Cut Stoppage)
Andrew Chappelle def. Joe Christopher via Unanimous Decision
Ed West def. Bryan Goldsby via Unanimous Decision
Ulysses Gomez def. Travis Reddinger via Split Decision
Jon Kirk def. Shane Faulkner via TKO Round 3
Zack Makovsky def. Nick Mamalis via Unanimous Decision
Steven Peterson def. Ernest De La Cruz via Unanimous Decision
Joe Warren def. Joe Soto via TKO Round 2

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