Bellator MMA is on deck this weekend with a doubleheader from Honolulu, Hawaii. Bellator 235 kicks off this Friday, December 20th, from the Neal S. Blaisdell Center, and can be seen on the Paramount Network and DAZN starting at 10:00 PM ET.
The event will be headlined by longtime MMA veteran, Josh Barnett, taking on former UFC and PFL performer, Ronny Markes. From the UFC to PRIDE, to Strikeforce and back to the UFC, Barnett has been around the block a time or two or ten. He is now set to make a splash in Bellator’s heavyweight division. Barnett is known for his catch wrestling style, having submitted the likes of Andrei Arlovski, Sergei Kharitonov, and Mark Hunt to name a few. He’s also used strikes to stop fellow greats like Randy Couture, Pedro Rizzo, and Frank Mir. At 42 years of age, could Barnett find a permanent home with the Viacom promotion?
Ronny Markes was off to a 3-0 start inside of the IUFC, until back to back knockout losses to Yoel Romero and Thiago Santos sent him to the now defunct WSOF and then to the PFL. Markes has fought at light heavyweight for the bulk of his career, but is stepping up to heavyweight to face the MMA icon. In his last fight, Markes came away with a second round ground and pound victory over Sigi Pesaleli in the PFL, and is now set to make his debut with a new promotion. The question is, will Markes be staying at heavyweight, or will he return to 205-pounds after this matchup?
The co-main event slot for Bellator 235 will see another former UFC fighter make his promotional debut when the 19-6 Erik Perez, meets the 11-7 Toby Misech. Perez departed from the UFC on a three-fight winning streak, before jumping ship to Combate Americas where he added two more victories to his resume. Perez is one tough cookie and can finish the fight by knockout or submission. Bellator picked up a solid bantamweight with this signing.
Toby Misech is quite tough in his own right. Hailing from Hilo, Hawaii he is the type of fighter to bring the action. He’s stopped opponents with leg kicks, body kicks, flying knees, and everything in between. Misech is 1-1 under the Bellator banner, recently falling short in a decision loss to former bantamweight champ, Eduardo Dantas. Will his willingness to bang it out be enough to get past someone as rounded as Perez?
Also on the card, former flyweight title challenger, Veta Arteaga will lock horns with fellow former 125-pound title contestant, Alejandra Lara. Before that, the 5-1 ever-explosive, Ty-wan Claxton, will clash with 3-0 Hawaiian, Braydon Akeo. Opening up the Bellator 235 main card, collegiate wrestling standout Joey Davis is set for a quick turn around to put his perfect 6-0 record on the line against the 19-10 Hawaiian veteran, Chris Cisneros.
Main card: 10:00 PM Paramount Network/DAZN
Josh Barnett vs. Ronny Markes: Heavyweight
Erik Perez vs. Toby Misech: Bantamweight
Veta Arteaga vs. Alejandra Lara: (W) Flyweight
Ty-wan Claxton vs. Braydon Akeo: Featherweight
Joey Davis vs. Chris Cisneros: Welterweight
Prelims: 8:45 PM online
Case Bell vs. Pierre Daguzan: Bantamweight
Ty Gwerder vs. Joseph Creer: Middleweight
Hunter Ewald vs. Brysen Bolohao: Welterweight