Bellator USO: Ronny Markes Wants Cheick Kongo With Barnett Win

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Ronny Markes PFL
Ronny Markes def. Sigi Pesaleli Credit: Ryan Loco/PFL

Ronny Markes takes on Josh Barnett in the main event of Bellator 235, or Bellator USO Salute to the Troops. The bout takes place Friday, December 20, and opponent Barnett is someone that Markes thinks highly of. Markes’ Bellator journey leads him to the Pride/UFC/ Strikeforce monolith of violence in what will be both men’s debut for the promotion. Speaking to Cageside Press ahead of the bout, he stated, “Legend in this sport. In the time I started to train, I’d seen a lot of fights with Josh in Pride. I’m so happy because he’s a legend. For me, it’s my pleasure to fight him. I’m waiting for this fight and winning his fight.”

Bellator 235

Though Markes is respectful of Barnett, he doesn’t feel the former UFC heavyweight champion will want to go to the mat with him. Markes stated, “I’m of a real belief that he won’t try the grappling. I’m Brazilian black belt too. I’ve been doing jiu-jitsu my whole life and I’m a real believer in my skills. He’s not coming to grapple me.”

Ronny Markes is more than a BJJ black belt though, and has been honing his skills all around. “I’m from Nova Uniao. I’ve trained my whole life there,” said Markes. “I don’t train much grappling at Xtreme Couture. Only go there for more MMA and the striking. I train grappling with Robert Drysdale and I train with Vinny Magalhaes.” There’s great energy training with Ray Sefo as well. The K1 legend has improved his striking in a big way.

Looking Ahead

Ronny Markes is locked in on Barnett but does have goals if he gets the ideal outcome here.

“I don’t like to talk to the future,” the Brazilian fight said. “But for me, I know Ryan Bader is busy right now. I think he’s going to defend his light-heavyweight belt…. After I win here, I think me and Cheick Kongo. Maybe interim belt. Because Cheick Kongo is the number one contender right now…. In my opinion, he didn’t do anything wrong against Cheick Kongo. I think Check Kongo is a little sh*tty.  I don’t see Ryan Bader do nothing wrong. Cheick Kongo’s a good fight.”

The move to heavyweight has been yielding a lot of benefits for Markes who has largely competed at light-heavyweight as well as middleweight. On this topic, Markes said, “First time in my life I’m training whole camp and eating every single day. Three or four times a day. Before that, I had a lot of stress. I sign the contract, I need to think about my cut weight and my diet. And this time it’s different. I’m happy.”

Bellator 235/Bellator USO takes place Friday, December 20 in Honolulu, Hawaii. The event airs live on Paramount Network.

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I've been enamored with combat sports for as long as I can remember. I've hosted MMA talk shows Lights Out and Pure Fight Radio with featured guests like Jens Pulver, Roy Nelson, Miesha Tate, Mark Coleman, and more. I've been an MMA broadcaster for XFFC as well as BTC and have done play by play commentary on live pay per view on GFL as well as FITE TV. I've provided written, audio, and video content covering some of the biggest MMA promotions like Rumble in the Cage, Unified MMA, and King of the Cage. I've worked as a sports entertainment personality for over five years and given play-by-play or featured promotions of KSW, ONE Championship, TKO, and Invicta FC. My work can be found in the USA Today Sports affiliate MMA Torch, Cageside Press, MMA Sucka, My MMA News, Sports Betting Dime and Liberty Multimedia.

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