Rising heavyweight contender Daniel James showcased his fight-ending punch power as he turned his main event bout with Marcelo Golm on its head in spectacular fashion at Bellator 293.

James and Golm faced off in the main event at the Pechanga Casino Resort in Temecula, California, where things weren’t looking too good for James after being largely dominated on the mat through the opening 10 minutes of the bout.

It required a change of pace from James and, at the start of the third round, “The American Predator” delivered with a stunning five-punch combination that ended with Golm down on the canvas and the California crowd on their feet.

James worked his way into the pocket with two solid left jabs, then uncorked a peach of a right uppercut that badly rocked Golm. But James hadn’t finished throwing, and a big left hook and a final right hand put the exclamation point on a blistering combination as Golm was sent crashing to the canvas.

It took just 26 seconds of the third round for James to turn the bout in his favor, as he claimed the 15th win of his career, and extended his win streak to five fights, with all five wins coming via KO or TKO.

Zingano battles past McCourt in three-round war

The co-main event held plenty of interest in the lead-up to fight night, and the women’s featherweight bout between Cat Zingano and Leah McCourt saw both fighters put it all on the line in a grueling three-round battle.

In a bout that spent a large portion of the 15-minute duration in grappling exchanges, it was Zingano who held sway in the eyes of the judges, not least due to the impact of her work, which could be seen in the bloody features of McCourt by the bout’s end.

After a very competitive encounter, the judges all saw it in Zingano’s favor, with scores of 29-28, 30-27, 29-28 as the former UFC bantamweight title challenger cemented her status as the top contender in Bellator’s women’s 145-pound division.

Salter announces retirement after decision win

Longtime Bellator middleweight contender John Salter added one more win to his resume, then called time on his professional mixed martial arts career.

Salter defeated rising contender Aaron Jeffery via unanimous decision, winning all three rounds on all three scorecards to claim a shutout win before announcing his retirement from the sport.

“I knew I was done,” said Salter after his win.

“I’m 38. I’ve been competing at a pretty high level since middle school, and it’s just a lot of intensity.

“I’m ready to move on. It’s time to move on and do other things, run my gym, and it was a real blessing to have a fight like that with someone of that caliber.”

Bellator 293: Official results


  • Daniel James def. Marcelo Golm via knockout (punches) – Round 3, 0:26
  • Cat Zingano def. Leah McCourt via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)
  • John Salter def. Aaron Jeffery via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Luke Trainer def. Sullivan Cauley via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 2:58


  • Rakim Cleveland def. Christian Edwards via submission (standing guillotine choke) – Round 3, 3:55
  • Mike Hamel def. Nick Browne via TKO (head kick and punches) – Round 1, 0:42
  • Adam Piccolotti def. Mandel Nallo via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 4:26
  • Sara Collins def. Pam Sorenson via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 2:43
  • Jeff Creighton def. Joey Davis via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
  • Lucas Brennan def. Josh San Diego via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 2:14
  • Vladimir Tokov def. Lance Gibson Jr. via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 1:02
  • Randi Field def. Ashley Cummins via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Bryce Meredith def. Brandon Carrillo via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 3:11
  • Mackenzie Stiller def. Benson Henderson via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 3:17