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UNCASVILLE, Conn. – Ronny Markes could be bitter, but he’s not.
A Bellator newcomer, Markes (19-7 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) was booked to fight against Josh Barnett twice in the past three months. Both times the fights were cancelled. The first instance happened in December, when Barnett (35-8 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) was forced out of his promotional debut due to a day-of-fight medical issue. The fight was rebooked for Friday’s Bellator 241, but Barnett was yanked from the card due to undisclosed commission issues.
In Barnett’s place, former UFC fighter Matt Mitrione (13-7 MMA, 4-2 BMMA) stepped in on short notice last week.
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Despite the back-to-back fight shakeups, Markes said he holds no ill will toward Barnett. He respects the PRIDE, UFC, and Strikeforce legend, the Brazilian heavyweight told MMA Junkie at a pre-fight media day held Wednesday.
“I liked the time there, but I didn’t like the vacation,” Markes said, of Hawaii. “I (went) there and brought my whole coaching (staff), everybody. I’d love to (have) seen this fight. Josh was sick. I respect him. He’s an honorable guy. He’s a legend.
“Right now, I don’t know what kind of problem he had with the commission, but I didn’t come here to talk (expletive) about Josh. He needs my respect. I respect him a lot. He needs to fix his problems with the commission. I hope this fixes soon. Me and him have a deal. He signed the contract to fight me. I hope this happens in the future.”
In Markes’ eyes, it would be inappropriate for him to hold a grudge. What if he encounters the same issue down the line? How would that make him look?
“Everybody has a bad day or bad feelings in their lives,” Markes said. “Why am I going to talk bad about him? Maybe tomorrow, I’ll be in the same situation. You know? Why am I going to come here and talk a lot of (expletive)? I’m not a typical guy (who) tries to take advantage of something negative. I hope he fixes everything and Bellator schedules me and him.”
When the two heavyweights step in the cage Friday night, Markes said he’s going to charge forward. If he can get his hands on the American, Markes thinks he’ll score a knockout. Cryptocurrency deposit account.
“I’m going to walk forward,” Markes said. “I’m going to try to put my hands (on him). If my hands connect, it will 100 percent (make) him drop. Because, the heavyweights, only one hand can change everything.”
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Bellator 241 takes place Friday at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. The main card streams on DAZN following prelims on MMA Junkie.
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Check out MMA Junkie’s full Bellator 241 pre-fight interview with Ronny Markes in the video above.