Newly crowned Bellator MMA champion Joe Warren is no stranger to wrestling competition. After winning the Pan American Championships in 2006 as well as the World Championship, a failed drug test cut his Olympic hopes short in 2008. Now, nearly 6 years later, Warren is eyeing an Olympic gold medal at the 2018 games.
He spoke to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour:
“I have an idea of maybe winning the Olympics, too. I don’t know why, man. It’s my birthday yesterday, and that was in my mind again. … I don’t know. If the Worlds are in Las Vegas next year, a year from now, it would be pretty sweet to win the World Championship in Las Vegas.”
“I tried to do it last time. Pat Curran knocked me out seven days before the trials (in 2012). I lost in the trials, but I probably shouldn’t have been wrestling in the first place. I didn’t think, at this age, I’d be talking about this again, but I’m faster, stronger, lighter, older, and all those things that makes wrestlers better. I don’t know. That’s a possibility.
“If I can get the support that I need, to be able to do the fighting and wrestling. You know, I’ll still fight, that’s what I do. The wrestling would be just for fun. I’m open-minded, I need another goal to set in front of me. I’m sitting here with too many belts, and I’m thinking maybe I’ll get another wrestling one.”
What is your take on fighters competing in the Olympics?