Bellator MMA returns to Chicago in June, and a local hero is among the talent announced for the Bellator 297 card on Wednesday.
Revealing the news via press release, a full eight fights have been added to the event’s line-up, including a heavyweight match-up featuring Illinois native Daniel James (15-6-1) taking on Gokhan Saricam (8-2).
Daniel James will enter the fight off a big win against UFC veteran Marcelo Golm at Bellator 293 late last month. “The American Predator” has won five straight fights, including his first two under the Bellator banner. That has landed him the #4 spot in the promotion’s heavyweight division. Saricam sits ranked at #10.
That main card match-up in joined by seven newly announced preliminary bouts, including the debut of Pieter Buist (17-6), who will face Gadzhi Rabadanov (19-4-2) in a lightweight contest. Buist formerly competed for ONE Championship.
Ranked light heavyweights Alex Polizzi (10-2), sitting at #5 in the weight class, and #7-ranked Karl Moore (11-2) will also throw down.
The remaining newly announced Bellator 297 match-ups include Jaleel Willis (16-4) vs. Ramazan Kuramagomedov (10-0) and Roman Faraldo (8-1) vs. Bobby Nash (12-4), both at welterweight, #10-ranked lightweight Archie Colgan (7-0) vs. Emmanuel Sanchez (20-8), Norbert Novenyi Jr. (6-0) vs. Kamil Oniszczuk (9-2) at middleweight, and #8-ranked Timur Khizriev (12-0) vs. Richie Smullen (10-2-1) at featherweight.
Bellator 297 is headlined by a light heavyweight championship bout as Vadim Nemkov puts his title on the line against Yoel Romero. In the co-main event, all eyes will be on Patricio Pitbull as he moves down a weight class, facing bantamweight champion Sergio Pettis in an attempt to win a championship in a third weight class.
Phil Davis vs. Corey Anderson will also face off in a main-card match-up. The event takes place June 16, 2023 at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago, IL.