Autohypnosis. The practice of controlling and unlocking the potential of the human mind.

Our brains are so complex that we might get in our own way when trying to perform even the simplest of tasks. We often have to talk ourselves into either snapping out of it or maybe snapping into it, for whatever it may be that we need to confront. In the world of MMA, or any endeavor really, positive self-talk is integral to success.

Former Bellator featherweight champion and Fight Master coach Joe Warren, who describes himself as “the baddest man on the planet,” knows this just as much as anyone.

“I think you just believe in yourself and brainwash yourself. I do a lot of that,” Warren told The MMA Corner in an exclusive interview. “That’s why I’m the baddest man on the planet, cause I say it. ‘I’m the baddest man on the planet, no one can touch me.’ I say that so many times that a lot of the stress goes out of my body and I pretty much talk myself into getting a win. I talk myself into it.

“It’s not a comfortable deal inside of that cage. The guy’s trying to kill [you]. You [have] got to turn the switch or you know what they say, snap. Or whatever. You got [to] really turn into kind of a killer and you’ve got to figure it out. I think that kind of internal monologue that I do really gets me into the zone and puts me in that place. I make fighting very personal for me. People taking good out of my kids’ mouths. I say stuff like that and it makes it real personal, and then I’m able to push real hard.”

Warren (Bryan Walters/The MMA Corner)

Warren (Bryan Walters/The MMA Corner)

It’s hard to argue that Warren’s self-talk hasn’t paid off. He is a champion in wrestling and MMA who recently won his second Bellator tournament and will be fighting for his second Bellator title at bantamweight next year. If he’s victorious, then he’ll make history as the first Bellator fighter to have held belts in two different divisions. Viacom’s version of B.J. Penn, if you will.

At the very least, his self-building “baddest man on the planet” expression has given fans and media a catchy line to use. It’s a moniker that was once used to describe a prime Mike Tyson, but it has now become synonymous with Warren’s name, at least in the MMA world. That’s good branding, and it also comes from a practical place.

“I’m a goal-setter,” Warren explained of his achievements. “I believe I’ve had some of the best coaches and people surrounding me since I’ve been a little kid, and it really taught me how to turn my brain into a tool. If I can control it, I can control my body. So when I was a young kid, we learned goal setting, and I set high goals and I went after them. I like to put a lot of goals in front of me and see if I can get there. Some people think it’s bad if you don’t get to those goals, but if you put them high and reach for the stars, sometimes it works. That’s kind of what’s been happening, you know?”

For now, the goal of becoming a champion again will have to wait. Bellator’s current 135-pound champion, Eduardo Dantas, is mending an injured ankle and is looking forward to a title defense against Rafael Silva some time in 2014. Warren, however, isn’t worried about who he’ll face after the outcome of that match is decided. He believes that his recent work, a TKO against Travis Marx at Bellator 107, serves as a warning to whomever he ends up facing.

“I haven’t watched a lot on both of them,” he said of Dantas and Silva. “I know Dantas is the champ, he has the belt, so that’s who I’m focused on. I’m not sure when he’s going to fight; I think he might even be hurt. But they’re young kids and I’m a grown man, and they’re going to have a rough time on their hands. They’re not fighting an 18-year-old kid, they’re fighting a 37-year-old battle-tested warrior that’s been through the grind. It’s not a very comfortable situation getting your hands on me. Look at Travis. Travis is one of the toughest guys out there and it was a very easy fight for me.”

Warren (Bryan Walters/The MMA Corner)

Warren (Bryan Walters/The MMA Corner)

There’s obviously no shortage of the confidence that Warren is producing. He’ll tell it to you in an infectiously entertaining way with excited eyes and a friendly smile. He agrees that those qualities have also helped him with his work in front of the camera, such as for his stint on the show Fight Master, but there’s no word yet if Bellator has any future projects lined up for him other than fighting. He’s also expressed interest in returning to wrestling competition.

“Instead of getting in a cage, having them lock the doors and having a guy try to beat me, I can get out of bounds, ya know. It’s safer,” he explained.

Warren demonstrates that you don’t need to hold a belt to feel like a champion. It’s a mindset that has served him well in getting back on track after losing his featherweight title and suffering a brutal knockout loss at the hands of Pat Curran in March of 2012.

Yet, bolstering one’s self with personal mantras or some form of meditation is only part of the bigger story of success. But that part is about beating it into your own head that you are the best. You are the best. You are the best. You are the best.

“I’m a champion, man, and that means adversity,” Warren said of losing. “That means coming back from getting beat before. That’s kind of how you measure if you’ve got a champion or not, if he’s able to deal with adversities. That’s just part of the game; everyone gets knocked out. Just not everybody gets knocked out in front of a shitload of people. When you have a good day, it’s awesome, but when you have a bad day, it’s horrible. Everyone knows about it.”

Top Photo: Joe Warren (Bryan Walters/The MMA Corner)

About The Author

David Massey
Staff Writer

David Massey studied Humanities and Art History at the University of Central Oklahoma. He first found interest in MMA from the first TUF show and has been hooked ever since. He began posting on mmajunkie then submitting Sunday Junkie entries and that began his interest in writing about MMA. Through twitter David found other MMA enthusiasts and began contributing articles to marqueemma.com. He looks forward to growing as a writer and being a part of the sport he loves.