Former Champion Set For Bellator 161 Co-Main Event


A former Bellator Champion is on the comeback trail after dropping two of his last three fights.

Joe Warren (13-5) will look to revive his career as he takes on Sirwan Kakai (12-4) in the co-main event of Bellator 161 on September 16. Warren dropped a fight earlier this year to Darrion Caldwell, pushing him to the back of the line in the bantamweight title hunt. The 39-year old Warren has held both the Bellator Bantmaweight and Featherweight Championships.

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Kakai, a UFC veteran, is coming off of two consecutive losses, including a defeat to Joe Taimanglo in March.

UFC 161 will be headlined by Cheick Kongo taking on Tony Johnson. You can see the press release that Bellator MMA sent below.

A bantamweight showdown pitting Joe Warren (13-5) against Sirwan Kakai (12-4) has been added to the main card of “Bellator 161: Kongo vs. Johnson,” which takes place on September 16 inside the H-E-B Center at Cedar Park, Texas, and will air LIVE and FREE on SPIKE.

The bantamweight contest joins a heavyweight main event featuring Cheick Kongo (24-10-2) taking on Tony Johnson (10-2), and the U.S. debut ofAnastasia Yankova (3-0), who meets Veta Arteaga (2-0). Additional contests will be announced in the coming weeks.

Tickets for “Bellator 161: Kongo vs. Johnson” start at only $25 can be purchased at, Ticketmaster, or the H-E-B Center at Cedar Park Box Office. The event will air LIVE and FREE on SPIKE at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT.

A 15-fight veteran of Bellator MMA and champion in not one but two different weight classes, Warren enters the cage with an 11-4 mark under the Scott Coker-led promotion, including multiple streaks of five consecutive wins. Dating back to 2015, the 2006 Pan American and World Champion wrestler has made three consecutive appearances in Bellator’s main event, including an impressive unanimous decision victory over L.C. Davis at “Bellator 143: Warren vs. Davis.” Hailing from Denver, Colorado, the “Baddest Man on the Planet” will look to become the first-ever fighter to knock out Kakai when the two meet in main card action on SPIKE.

Nicknamed “Zohan,” Kakai comes into the fight in search of his first career win under the Bellator MMA banner. At just 26 years of age, the Swedish submission specialist hopes to make a splash against the former two-division champion in Warren. Since making his professional debut in 2008, Kakai has recorded 12 wins as a pro, with half coming by way of submission. Prior to joining the Bellator MMA fray, Kakai made a splash fighting under the direction of the UFC, recording a unanimous decision victory over Danny Martinez in his promotional debut. Kakai now faces one of the most challenging opponents Bellator MMA’s stacked bantamweight division has to offer when he enters the cage on September 16 at the H-E-B Center at Cedar Park.

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