Bellator 235 has lost its main event on fight day, with the announcement coming during the middle of the main card.
Following a report from MMA Junkie’s Matt Erickson, Bellator president Scott Coker tweeted that Josh Barnett is out of his bout vs. Ronny Markes, with Hawaii’s commission not clearing the veteran heavyweight because of illness.
“On the advice of the Hawaii State Boxing Commission, tonight’s main event bout between Josh Barnett and Ronny Markes has been cancelled. Barnett has not been cleared tonight due to severe illness,” Coker wrote.
“Toby Misech vs. Erik Perez is the new #BellatorUSO main event.”
Barnett has not fought since submitting Andrei Arlovski in 2016. A prolonged battle with USADA saw him get cleared of any wrongdoing when his case went to arbitration. He received his UFC release and signed with Bellator MMA earlier this year.
Unfortunately, Barnett’s return to MMA competition will have to wait until 2020.
Update: More on Barnett’s illness, via Josh Gross.
Just spoke with Scott Coker who confirmed that Josh Barnett fell ill backstage and the commission doctor called off the fight. Apparently Barnett had chills and flu-like symptoms, and has left the Blaisdell Arena. Coker said he may reschedule the fight for Los Angeles in Jan.— Josh Gross (@yay_yee) December 21, 2019
Apparently Barnett was fighting something since he arrived. He vomited earlier today before arrivimg at the venue and wanted to tough it out. I was told he did not notify Bellator that he was under the weather.— Josh Gross (@yay_yee) December 21, 2019