Josh Barnett is a beloved Japanese fighter who follows MMA and one of the few remaining PRIDEs still active. The American was cast to lead the Bellator MMA card on his return from the franchise to Hawaii, an event to honor the US Armed Forces, along with his friends and family. The show will take place at the Neal S. Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu on Friday, December 20.
This will be the debut of former UFC heavyweight champion at Viacom-owned organization in a card promoted in partnership with USO and marking Bellator's second annual event: “Salute the Troops”.
According to 'Hardcore' MMA fans, however, the problem with these events for the troops (with all due respect to those in them) is that they have more time for “greetings” than fighting. Still according to them, the interval between fights is absurdly long, which makes the tiring event to follow.
Interestingly, the show is part of a weekend with two Bellator MMA events included in the special event fight week in Hawaii, the 50th and last of the states represented on the American flag.
Josh is no stranger to Hawaii's dedicated MMA fan base either, as he fought for the Hawaiian regional promotion called Superbrawl on 1999 and 2000, where he beat fellow legendary Dan Severn, among others.
One of the biggest heavyweights of all time, Barnett will be making his comeback in MMA competitions, a mode that has not fought since his duel against Andrey Arlovsky at the UFC on September 2016. Since then, he has remained active in the field of combat sports, competing in Submission events, promoting and performing at his own Wrestling events (which is how Telecatch is known in Sao Paulo) and working as a commentator for New Japan Pro Wrestling.
Barnett has a MMA record of 35 wins and 8 losses in appearances at events like Strikeforce, Pride, UFC, K-1, Pancrase and Affliction, where he has amassed wins over athletes of the size of the aforementioned Dan Severn (2x), Semmy Schilt (2x), Randy Couture, Mark Hunt, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Pedro Rizzo, Sergei Kharitonov, Frank Mir, Roy Nelson and Andrei Arlovski.
Your opponent in the main fight of the December 20 event will be the Brazilian Ronny Markes. Coming from Natal-RN and fighting professionally since 2007, Ronny will join Bellator MMA after 26 world fights, including three UFC wins.
Markes counts a cartel with 19 wins and 7 defeats in MMA and comes from a technical knockout win over Sigi Pesaleli in the “PFL” in June of 2019 and can now add another renowned fighter to his list of opponents, a list that includes names like Yoel Romero, Thiago Santos, Aaron Simpson and Paulo Filho.
A curiosity is that the potiguar competing in the 83kg category has fought 93kg in his last fights, but now it is speculated that he may even be above 100kg.
Already the next day, 21 December (Saturday), the Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (USA) vs. Kate Jackson (UK) fight will head the “Bellator HAWAI'I” at the same venue.
But what about you, dear reader?
What do you think Josh Barnett's Bellator MMA debut will look like? Are you surprised by the choice of opponent for your promotion debut?
One thing we are sure of ... Someone will be dented.
* Text from the collaborator Oriosvaldo Costa. | Written in 07 / 11 / 2019
Oriosvaldo Costa “Mr. Kung Fu". Sports chronicler, passionate about martial arts. Practice Kung Fu since 1990, and compete in MMA since 1998. 7 Fights: 3 Wins, 3 Defeats, 1 No Contest.