Wexford's Brian Moore says a fight against former Bellator bantamweight and featherweight champion Joe Warren is close to being finalised.
SBG's Moore has called for the fight since defeating So Le Bihn at Bellator Birmingham just two weeks ago. The Irish bantamweight dominated the Swedish fighter over three rounds on return from double hand surgery in his divisional debut for the promotion.
Moore now believes he's ready for a higher level opponent and see the 42-year-old American as the perfect name to propel him up the ranks for a title shot.
The 31-year-old is adamants a victory over the former Bellator champion would be a big statement as he aims to be in the title picture before the end of the year.
He believes it would be a perfect main or co-main event fight for Bellator MMA's return to Dublin in September. The promotion have yet to set a date but they are expected to confirm after their June 22 event in London.
Ireland's Moore says it's time for the younger fighters to take the torch from the older. Moore has no doubts that he'll finish Warren in the first round.
"It has main event written all over it but I don't mind co-main event, that would also be a great slot for that fight. Either way the fight steals the show. It would be the people's main event because this is going to be a huge step for an Irishman to step forward and get another World title and bring it back to Ireland. So, all eyes will be on this fight. If you're an Irish mma fan, a hardcore mma fan or a casual mma fan there will be a lot of interest in this fight. This is where the torch passes. Joe Warren is past it and I'm coming into my prime - I'm going to put Joe Warren away in the first round,' Moore told OTB.
Moore vs Warren
🇮🇪 vs 🇺🇸
Future champ vs Former champ.
Both sides want it - let's do it.
Who wants to see this go down in Bellator Dublin, September? RT! @BellatorMMA @Bellator_Europe pic.twitter.com/mc7eOSXIP4
— Brian Moore (@pikemanmma) May 9, 2019
Moore say the match makes for a fantastic fight for the mma world, and especially the Irish audience. He says it has been something that he's had his eyes on Warren since watching the Michigan fighter as featherweight champion.
"I want to fight Joe Warren because I want to be World champion. I want to test myself and take that step-up in competition and fight against a former 2-time World Champion. Joe Warren's name is synonymous with Bellator. When I started watching Bellator he was the World champion and I've had my eyes firmly set on him since,' explained Moore.
John Kavanagh's fighter did envisage the fight taking place at featherweight but now sees it at the 135lbs mark after an stint in the 145lbs division. Warren is on a two-fight skid at bantamweight coming off a TKO loss to Shawn Bunch at Bellator 210, last November.
"I thought it was always going to happen at featherweight but I'm down in the bantamweight division, where I'm going to rule the roost; where I'm going to be the World champion. So, I want to test my skills against a formidable opponent like him. Joe and I, stylistically, will make for a hell of a match up, and one hell of a show for the Irish fans when Bellator comes back in September,' said the confident 135er'.
Although the bout is yet to be officially confirmed by the Bellator brass but Moore says it's close to being agreed on by both parties and the promotion. Moore is confident the bout will be confirmed soon for Dublin's 3Arena.
"Yeah, it's looking good. Obviously we are campaigning this hard on our side both myself and my coach. Joe Warren - he took the bait. He seems on board, also. Bellator have expressed a lot of interest and most importantly the fans want to see this fight; and most importantly the Irish fans, and the fans on this side of the Atlantic. This will be a huge step for an Irish fighter to get Bellator gold."
— Joe Warren (@JoeWarrenMMA) May 7, 2019