Rising heavyweight contender Daniel James has a golden opportunity to build on the momentum of his recent knockout win when he makes a swift turnaround to compete at Bellator 297.

James produced the biggest win of his career with a third-round knockout of Marcelo Golm in the main event of Bellator 293 as he announced himself as a heavy-handed threat to the division’s best.

Now he’s set to return to action at Bellator 297 in his home town of Chicago, where he’ll take on Gokhan Saricam in a main card bout at the WinTrust Arena on June 16.

Turkey’s Saricam is in decent form of his own. The 32-year-old has won four of his last five, including two first-round TKO finishes. The teammate of former middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi will be looking to steal James’ momentum and stake his own claim for a shot against the division’s elite.

A host of other bouts have also been confirmed for the card, including a light heavyweight bout featuring former Cage Warriors champion Karl Moore, who will look to continue his rise up the 205-pound division when he faces No. 5-ranked Alex Polizzi.

Former featherweight title challenger Emmanuel Sanchez returns to action against 10th-ranked lightweight Archie Colgan, while London Shootfighters prospect Norbert Novenyi Jr will look to extend his undefeated record with victory over Kamil Oniszczuk.

The event is headlined by a pair of championship bouts, with light heavyweight champion Vadim Nemkov putting his title on the line against Yoel Romero in the main event, while featherweight champion Patricio Pitbull drops down a weight class to challenge Sergio Pettis for the bantamweight title in the co-main event.

Bellator 297: Confirmed bouts


  • Vadim Nemkov vs. Yoel Romero – for light heavyweight title
  • Sergio Pettis vs. Patricio Pitbull – for bantamweight title
  • Corey Anderson vs. Phil Davis
  • Daniel James vs. Gokhan Saricam


  • Roman Faraldo vs. Bobby Nash
  • Gadzhi Rabadanov vs. Pieter Buist
  • Jaleel Willis vs. Ramazan Kuramagomedov
  • Alex Polizzi vs. Karl Moore
  • Archie Colgan vs. Emmanuel Sanchez
  • Norbert Novenyi Jr vs. Kamil Oniszczuk
  • Timur Khizriev vs. Richie Smullen