Bellator 293 Topped by Golm vs. James, Zingano vs. McCourt on March 31

Marcelo Golm Bellator MMA
Marcelo Golm, Bellator 265 Credit: Bellator MMA

Bellator has added a second event to its March 2023 calendar.

On Monday, promotion officials announced that Bellator 293 will take place at the Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula, California on March 31, 2023. It’s the second California date in March for Bellator, who also stop at the SAP Center in San Jose, CA on March 10.

Headlining Bellator 293 will be UFC veteran Marcelo Golm (10-3), in a heavyweight match-up with Daniel James (14-6-1). The co-feature sees Cat Zingano (13-4) booked opposite Leah McCourt (7-2) in a women’s featherweight match-up that will almost certainly have an impact on the division’s title picture.

Also announced for the event, John Salter (18-6), former middleweight title challenger, takes on Canadian Aaron Jeffrey (13-3).

With a 100% finish rate among his ten wins, Golm represents fresh blood in the promotion’s heavyweight division. The Brazilian is undefeated since exiting the UFC in 2019, and has won his first two bouts under the Bellator MMA banner. Most recently, he submitted rising heavyweight prospect Davion Franklin.

Daniel James, meanwhile, became an unlikely star when he returned to the Bellator cage last year after spending years competing mainly overseas. James had made his professional debut with the company in 2014, but did not compete in the organization again until his November finish of Tyrell Fortune.

That win landed “The American Predator,” 41, in the #8 spot in the division’s official rankings. Golm sits at #7.

Cat Zingano (13-4) has won all three of her Bellator fights to date, after debuting with the company in 2020. Having competed just once per year since, many expected her to be next in line for a shot at women’s featherweight champ Cris Cyborg. The pair have butted heads over drug testing, however, while Cyborg has recently turned her attention to boxing, going 2-0 in the ring in 2022.

McCourt went 1-1 for her part in 2022, losing a decision against Sinead Kavanagh before getting back in the win column opposite Dayana Silva.

Bellator 293 currently has the following bouts announced:

  • Marcelo Golm vs. Daniel James
  • Cat Zingano vs. Leah McCourt
  • John Salter vs. Aaron Jeffrey
  • Jaleel Willis Rustam Khabilov
  • Archie Colgan vs. Justin Montalvo
  • Mike Hamel vs. Nick Browne
  • Jay-Jay Wilson vs. Mandel Nallo