By: Simon Head |
December 19, 2019 12:50 pm
The Bellator cage lands in Hawaii this weekend for a double-header of MMA action, with the first of the two events set to pay tribute to the servicemen and women in Honolulu at “Bellator and USO Present: Salute The Troops 2019,” which takes place at Neal S. Blaisdell Center. The night’s main card airs on Paramount and streams on DAZN.
The card features the return of a heavyweight legend, a pair of women’s flyweight contenders looking to earn a second title shot and two former wrestling standouts seeking to push themselves towards the top.
Here are our five burning questions ahead of Friday night’s event in Hawaii:
Can the returning Josh Barnett surge into title contention?
It’s been more than three years since we saw Josh Barnett throwing down inside an MMA cage, but now, after a battle with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and a change of promotion, “The Warmaster” is back and ready to launch his assault on the Bellator heavyweight division.
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Barnett (35-8 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) headlines Friday night’s card in Hawaii against Brazilian Ronny Markes, who has moved up from 205 pounds to heavyweight to take on the former UFC heavyweight champion at Salute the Troops.
With Bellator’s heavyweight division looking wide open right now, Barnett sees an opportunity to make an impact on his return as he bids to gatecrash the title picture and make a beeline for reigning champion Ryan Bader.
And with a record that includes nine finishes from his last 10 outings, Markes (19-7 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) will need to be on his guard against a man with a chip on his shoulder and a title in his sights.
“I don’t view it as going after the title,” Barnett said. “I’m already ready for a title shot. I’m already deserving of a title shot. What I’m relishing is having the opportunity to get in there and fight. Period. I go out, I fight, I win, I get what I want.”
Will “The Warmaster” get his wish on Friday night, or can Markes upset the veteran’s return with an underdog victory?
Alejandra Lara, Bellator 235, Bellator: Salute the Troops, Braydon Akeo, Chris Cisneros, Erik Perez, Joey Davis, Josh Barnett, Ronny Markes, Toby Misech, Tywan Claxton, Veta Arteaga, Bellator, Featured, News