The Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, California, hosted Bellator 293 on March 31. The main event of the card featured a heavyweight battle between Daniel James and Marcelo Golm, with James winning via third-round TKO.
A shot at the Bellator heavyweight championship could have been up for grabs in the Bellator 293 main event between Marcelo Golm and Daniel James because heavyweight is a famously shallow division in mixed martial arts. James was able to score a TKO in the greatest fight of his career during the clash of big men carrying four-fight winning streaks.
James didn’t take long to catch a kick and use it to send Golm to the ground. Unfortunately for James, Golm was able to swiftly get to his feet because James’ grappling was ineffective at keeping him on his back. Both men tried to clinch as the struggle evolved into one. As the opening round came to an end, the fight evolved into a clinch battle in which both fighters attempted to exhaust the other by landing grappling attacks along the fence.
Golm was able to secure a takedown and control the round positionally after hitting a string of powerful leg kicks to begin Round 2. Even though Golm finished first in the round, he never came close to earning the victory, which ultimately proved to be his downfall.
In the third round, James showed a sudden onset of aggression, charging forward with powerful strikes and putting Golm on the back foot. At the 0:26 minute, James was finally able to knock Golm out via TKO after landing a powerful uppercut and a right hand.
After winning, James said his coach had urged him to let his punches go going into the third round.
“He told me that the whole night last night,” James said after the fight. “I just had to sit down and really think about it. I just had to think about our purpose … the fight was going one way, I felt, and I had to let the hands go. I had to believe in myself and I just won.”
James’ victory, his second in a Bellator cage, brings him closer to a chance at Ryan Bader and the heavyweight championship, and he didn’t waste any time in calling out the victor.
“You know, Bader is in the crowd,” James said. “Bader knows I want him. He’s a good guy. … I know he said he hasn’t been fighting anybody that is worthy and I want to give him that shot. I’m worthy. … I want the opportunity to fight Bader.”
In the co-main event, Cat Zingano, a past contender for the UFC title, defeated Leah McCourt by unanimous decision. In Bellator’s women’s featherweight division, “Alpha” is presently ranked as the top opponent.
Aaron Jeffery was defeated by John Salter by unanimous decision in the only middleweight contest on the main event. Slater had not triumphed since 2020, while Jeffery had won three straight fights prior to this defeat.
The light-heavyweight contest between Archie Colgan and Justin Montalvo ended in a first-round TKO elsewhere on the Bellator 293 main event.
Additionally on the Bellator 293 main event, Archie Colgan defeated Justin Montalvo via first-round TKO in their light-heavyweight contest. The 27-year-old increased his perfect record to 7-0 with the victory, four of which came inside the Bellator cage.
A proposal and a submission victory
English medium-heavyweight Luke After a decisive victory over American prospect Sullivan Cauley, the trainer asked his partner to marry him.
With five first-round finishes in his previous five fights, Cauley was anticipated to extend his winning streak in California against Trainer.
But the 27-year-old defied the odds to force Cauley to tap out in the opening round with a rear-naked choke, giving the American his first career loss in a strong display.
Once inside the ring, the Stevenage fighter welcomed his partner and made an emotional marriage proposal, which she accepted.
“My gorgeous girlfriend is here, please baby girl come in [the cage]. I haven’t brought the ring with me so I’d like to take the ring off [your finger] and put it back on today. Baby girl I love you so much, you are everything to me. Will you do me the honour and be my wife?”
As he rebuilds after suffering his first setback of his career last year, Trainer increased his record to seven victories and one defeat.
Following his defeat to Lucas Alsina in October of last year, after losing to Simon Biyong in May, Trainer ended his first fight on American territory with an unexpected victory.