Barnett Out Of Bellator 241, Mitrione To Replace Him
The highly-anticipated Bellator debut of Josh Barnett will have to wait a little longer. Barnett will not be competing at Bellator 241 next week in Uncasville, Connecticut. As a result, Ronny Markes needed a new opponent for the heavyweight fight.
Enter “Meathead” himself.
Matt Mitrione will be taking Barnett’s spot on the card, competing in a last-minute bout. Barnett is out after failing a medical requirement.
“Mr. Barnett has failed a medical requirement by the Mohegan Tribe Dept of Athletic Reg and will not be fighting on the March 13 Bellator event,” Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulations director Mike Mazzulli told MMAFighting. “He will not be allowed to fight till he resolves the failed test.”
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Barnett (35-8) hasn’t competed inside a cage since 2016, when he beat Andre Arlovski via submission. Following a battle with USADA, Barnett was cleared to fight when the failed test he was accused of having was due to a contaminated supplement. Granted his UFC release in 2018, Barnett has been a part of the pro wrestling world while still training for competition.
Mitrione (13-7, 1NC) is 1-2 with one no-contest in his last four fights. Beating Roy Nelson in the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix quarter-finals, the former New York Giant lost to eventual winner Ryan Bader via unanimous decision. He then fought Sergei Kharitonov twice. The first fight at Bellator 215 ended less than 20 seconds into the bout as a result of Mitrione kicking Sergei below the belt. In the rematch a few months later at Bellator 225, Khatinotov got his revenge, beating Mitrione via TKO.
Markes (19-7) was supposed to face Barnett at Bellator Hawaii in December, but the latter suffered from an illness that kept him out of the fight. The 31-year-old is making his Bellator debut after fighting in the PFL. He is 2-2 in PFL action, last beating Sigi Pesaleli via TKO back in June. Markes missed weight for the event, negating him from advancing in the light heavyweight tournament.
Bellator 241 takes place inside the Mohegan Sun Arena on March 13. The main event is a quarter-final bout of the Featherweight Grand Prix. Patricio Freire will put his Featherweight Title on the line against Pedro Carvalho. The co-main event will be another Featherweight Grand Prix quarter-final bout in Daniel Weichel v. Emmanuel Sanchez.