Bellator heavyweight contender Josh Barnett has released a statement following his last-minute removal from the main event of Bellator Salute The Troops.
Barnett was scheduled to face Ronny Markes in the headlining fight, but about an hour before it was set to take place, Bellator announced the fight was canceled due to an illness to Barnett. Toby Misech vs. Erik Perez ended up taking the headlining spot, with Misech pulling off a stunning upset knockout win.
Following the event, Barnett issued a video statement of the emotions he felt being forced to pull out of the fight. Take a look at what Barnett said below in a video from Bellator.
“Today was a travesty and you won’t find anybody more disappointed being unable to get out there and fight, to be a part of that main event for the troops tonight and to provide some much-needed entertainment, to showcase Bellator and its more-than-capable and its world-class talent, and to give Ronny Markes the opportunity to be in there in the main event,” Barnett said.
“I’ve done everything that I’ve could today to try and be of sound mind and body to get in the ring. I woke up in the middle of the night with chills and fevers and aches and pains. My kidneys feel like someone’s been hitting them for 12 rounds. I went and got two litres of fluids put in me and I’ve taken every allowable medication to try and get me up to snuff to be able to get in the cage. I’ve never been known to be one to back out of fights or to not show up. Not only is this embarrassing for me, but it’s like some sort of a weird nightmare, and I really regret being unable to be in the cage tonight.”
It’s obviously a devastating blow for Barnett, who was set to make his Bellator debut after more than three years away from the cage as his last fight came back in September 2016 when he finished Andrei Arlovski. Now, Barnett will look to heal up and try to get healthy enough to return to the Bellator cage in the early part of 2020.
What do you think is next for Josh Barnett?