Ronny Markes and Josh Barnett were set to make their Bellator debuts Friday in Honolulu, Hawaii, but “The Warmaster” was not medically cleared by the local commission just a few hours before entering the cage.
Markes, who was informed by the company he will be paid his show money, told MMA Fighting it took some time for him to believe he wasn’t going to fight that night.
“I was shadow boxing in the lockerroom when Mike Kogan came in to talk to Ray Sefo,” Markes said. “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.”
Bellator has yet to make a decision about the future of both heavyweights, but Markes hopes that the match-up gets re-booked for Bellator 238 in Inglewood, Calif., on Jan. 25. The show will be headlined by featherweight queen Julia Budd against Cris Cyborg.
“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.”
Markes (19-7) last fought in June, finishing Sigi Pesaleli under the PFL banner, while Barnett (35-8) looks to compete in MMA for the first time since a 2016 victory against Andrei Arlovski in the UFC.