Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Josh Barnett and Ronny Markes were scheduled to headline Bellator 235, but Barnett came down with an illness and their bout wound up being canceled.
Barnett would appear in a video on Bellator MMA’s Twitter, stating that the whole situation was a “weird nightmare”:
"It's like some sort of a weird nightmare."@JoshLBarnett shares his regrets as he is unable to fight tonight at The #BellatorUSO---- Show. pic.twitter.com/BFaWcf8Ryj— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) December 21, 2019
Markes, who was making his Bellator MMA debut alongside Barnett, says he was arming up when the bad news arrived.
“I was shadow boxing in the lockerroom when Mike Kogan came in to talk to Ray Sefo,” Markes said to MMA Fighting. “I asked Ray what happened, and he said the fight was cancelled because Josh wasn’t feeling well. I thought to myself, ‘I can’t believe this is happening.’ I was getting ready to warm up, getting ready to fight, but I think God has a better plan for all of us.”
A disappointed Markes approached Barnett backstage and he says that they spoke about rescheduling the bout for next month.
“I went to (Barnett’s) locker room and asked him to try to make this happen in California, and he said he’s down for it,” Markes said. “I have faith that it will happen on Jan. 25. We have five weeks to train, and I believe he will be better in three days. That’s the fight that makes the most sense and I think he will accept it. I spoke with Scott (Coker) and he said that’s a possibility, that he would talk to Josh first and see if he’s okay with it, and also hope he doesn’t have any pro wrestling show lined up. If he doesn’t want to fight me in California, but do it on a later card, I still want to fight on that show so I can stay active. I wanna fight Josh no matter how. He said no one wanted too fight him, and that’s what I’m here for.”
There has been no official word yet from Bellator MMA officials as to whether or not the bout will get rescheduled or if the fighters will go their separate ways.