Joe Warren may be eying an Olympic bid at the 2012 London Games, but the self-proclaimed “Baddest Man on the Planet” is not putting his MMA career aside just yet.
Bellator Fighting Championships’ 145-pound titleholder will return to action against Ring of Combat featherweight champ Marcos “Louro” Galvao on April 16 in a 137-pound catchweight affair at Bellator 41, a source with knowledge of the matchup informed Sherdog.com on Tuesday. No venue has been announced for the event, which will air live on MTV2.
Warren, 34, is an accomplished Greco-Roman wrestler on the international stage and won gold in the 132-pound division of the 2006 FILA Wrestling World Championships. His bid at the 2008 Beijing Olympics was cut short when he tested positive for THC at the 2007 U.S. team trials, but Warren has been vocal in his desire to take part in the 2012 games.
Since transitioning to MMA in March 2009, the former Michigan Wolverine has compiled a ledger of 6-1; his only loss came in his third fight, when he was armbarred by formerDream champ Bibiano Fernandes. Warren took decisions over Eric Marriott, Georgi Karakhanyan and Patricio “Pitbull” Freire to win Bellator’s second-season featherweight tournament in spring 2010. Last September, he disposed of Joe Soto with a stunning second-round knockout to become Bellator’s undisputed top featherweight.
A product of Rio de Janeiro’s famed Nova Uniao camp, Galvao has competed under the banners of such organizations as Shooto and World Extreme Cagefighting. The 29-year-old was released from the latter promotion in March 2009 following a brutal knockout loss at the hands of Damacio Page at WEC 39. Since returning from a 14-month layoff last May, “Louro” has won three straight, most recently besting Ryan Vaccaro in December to claim the ROC 145-pound title.
Mike Whitman contributed to this report.