By Jaime C. Feal
HOLLYWOOD, FL – Joe Warren snapped his two fight losing streak in a big way, and got on the winning track in the exciting Bellator Bantamweight division. Warren was matched up against Owen Evinger, a notable underdog, and did exactly as he was supposed to do. Warren controlled the fight from start to finish with superior grappling and wrestling. Mixing in ground and pound, and positional top control, Warren never gave Evinger a chance. At the post-fight press conference the self-proclaimed “Baddest Man on the Planet” stated he loves his new division as has his eyes on Eduardo Dantas’ bantamweight title.
In the co-main event, Vinicius Queiroz and Alexander “Drago” Volkov clashed in a heavyweight battle. These two 6 foot 7 giants traded punches in the early portion of the first round, with Volkov easily holding the edge in striking. The way Volkov was moving, striking, really finishing his punches, and using hard leg kicks to both the head and legs, was very impressive. He resembled a heavyweight version of Alexander Gustafsson, except one who utilizes more leg kicks.
Queiroz, a Team Nogueira fighter from Brazil, had his moments in the first round as well. He was able to take Volkov down, but never got the chance to use his superior jiu-jitsu game: the referee stood the fighters up with no warning for inactivity within 20 seconds of the takedown. Queiroz pointed to this as the reason he ended up losing the fight. In the second round it was all Volkov. Having Queiroz hurt several times on the feet, Volkov turned it on once looking for the finish, but somehow Queiroz had enough heart and will to survive the early onslaught. Later in the round, Volkov again hurt Queiroz with strikes, and this time when he had his opponent pinned on the cage he showed no mercy. Volkov unleashed a volley of unanswered strikes that crumpled Querioz and forced the referee to stop the fight with seconds left in the 2nd round. At only 24 years old, Alexander Volkov is a heavyweight prospect you’ll want to watch. Volkov is now in the Heavyweight Tournament Finals and will be taking on Rich Hale. The two men shared an intense staredown in the cage after Volkov’s big win.
Former WEC standout and 3rd degree black belt from the heralded Nova Uniao camp Waggney Fabiano also fought on the card. Although heavily favored, Fabiano couldn’t deliver his best performance as up-and-comer Rad Martinez stifled Fabiano’s game en route to the biggest win of his career. Fabiano did manage a takedown in the first frame, but only briefly controlled Martinez for half a minute. Rad was able to get up, and the wrestler with ever improving striking was never taken down again for the remainder of the fight. Martinez used his length and reach to out-strike and easily out point Fabiano. Martinez won a unanimous decision and a spot in the Season 7 Featherweight Tournament Finals. Martinez will take on once-beaten Shahbulat Shamhalaev to determine who wins the tournament, and earns the right to face Featherweight Champion Pat Curran for the belt.