Bellator 293: Daniel James Believes He Shut Up Critics of Main Event Billing


Temecula, CA — Bellator 293 heavyweight Daniel James believes he has shut up those who were critical of his main event billing on Friday night in Temecula, California.

James (15-6-1) was paired up with UFC vet Marcelo Golm, with the two ranked #7 and #5 in the division, respectively. An important fight, but many felt that Cat Zingano vs. Leah McCourt, the evening’s co-main event, carried more weight as a potential title eliminator.

James went on to put Golm away with a devastating three-punch combo in the third round. It wasn’t enough to see him skip the line for a title shot, but James feels that his critics just aren’t MMA fans — though they’ll be believers now, as far as his abilities go.

“Yeah I shut them up. Those people that just said that, those people are really not MMA fans. You ask those people in the street, you say ‘hey what do you do?’ [They answer] ‘I do UFC.’ What is that? They’re not fans,” James told media outlets including Cageside Press. “An MMA fan is a person that studies the arts, watches fights from all different aspects, from Bellator to UFC to ONE FC. They watch all this. Them real fans.”

“Tonight, if you was a non-believer, you’re a believer now. How could you not like it? How could you not like what I did?”

Whether you’re a believer or not, James clearly believes in his own abilities, which have seen him win five fights split between ACA and Bellator MMA.

“Yeah, this is everything I expected,” James said when asked about a journey that has brought him back to Bellator, where he began his career. “I’m on a win streak, what is it, five, six, five? That’s more than a couple. So a five-fight win streak, just like I planned.”

“I feel like right now, you’ve seen me in the toughest situations in a fight. So right now, this point in my career, there’s no such thing as losing,” he continued. “That’s just me being confident. I know I put in enough work that if I can come out of something like that — you’ve seen the choke hold, you’ve seen me coming back from these devastating kicks. You’ve seen me being on the ground; I chose to wrestle on the ground with Marcelo Golm only because my leg, he did some damage, I’m being honest in saying that.”

Next for James is healing up the leg that Golm chewed up, then he plans to get back to training, as well as spending time with his boys, who have taken up boxing. But with Linton Vassell getting the next title shot, James has been offered a spot on Bellator 297 in Chicago. It seems he’s ready to accept.

“My leg will be healed, I heal like a dog. I literally heal fast. You can’t have nothing in Chicago without me,” exclaimed James. “People are already buying tickets, some people already texted me, like ‘yo I’mma get my floor seats now.’ Chicago, they’re waiting on me. And it’s in June. So we’re there.”

Watch the full Bellator 293 post-fight press conference with Daniel James above.


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