The slate of action for BELLATOR 293: Golm vs. James, the promotion’s Friday, March 31 return to Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula, Calif. is complete, with four main card bouts and 12 preliminary fights.
The preliminary portion of the event is stacked with talent and is only getting better with the addition of multiple marquee clashes between rostered BELLATOR talent, namely the long-awaited return of undefeated 170-pound standout, Joey Davis (8-0) who competes against Jeff Creighton (6-2-1). BELLATOR 293 will also see the return of Maria Henderson (1-0), when she meets MacKenzie Stiller at 115-pounds, unbeaten Lance Gibson Jr. (7-0) continues his run against Team Fedor’s Vladimir Tokov (8-2) and No. 9-ranked light heavyweight Sullivan Cauley (5-0) goes up against England’s Luke Trainer (6-1). Also, a previously announced bout between Jay Jay Wilson (9-1) and Mandel Nallo (9-2, 1 NC) has been cancelled due to injury.
In the main event, a pivotal heavyweight bout between No. 7-ranked Marcelo Golm (10-3) and No. 8-ranked Daniel James (14-6-1) will take place, while in the card’s co-main event, San Diego’s top-ranked Cat Zingano (13-4) returns to featherweight action against the No. 4-ranked Leah McCourt (7-2) of Ireland. Additionally, a middleweight contest between No. 4-ranked John Salter (18-6) and No. 6-ranked Aaron Jeffrey (13-3) is official for the main card, as well as a 170-pound tilt showcasing No. 10-ranked Jaleel Willis (16-4) against 13-fight UFC veteran Rustam Khabilov (24-4), who will be making his BELLATOR MMA debut.
The main card of BELLATOR 293: Golm vs. James will be broadcast live in the U.S. on Friday, March 31 on SHOWTIME at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. Tickets are available now at the Pechanga box office, as well as Bellator.com, Ticketmaster.com and Pechanga.com.
These along with the rest of the preliminary card will air live at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT on the BELLATOR MMA YouTube channel, the SHOWTIME Sports YouTube channel, and Pluto TV.
Joey Davis vs. Jeff Creighton – (Welterweight Bout)
Making his highly anticipated return to action for the first time since 2020, the lone athlete to ever win four NCAA national wrestling championships while maintaining an undefeated record, Joey “Black Ice” Davis, takes on welterweight finisher “Jazzy” Jeff Creighton, in a can’t-miss preliminary matchup. The 29-year-old four-time NCAA Division II champion out of Notre Dame College retired with an unbelievable collegiate record of 133-0, and he plans to remind fight fans about his world-class abilities on March 31. Davis will look to show the world what he’s been working on under Antonio McKee at Team Bodyshop during his three-year layoff from the sport against Creighton, who is unbeaten in his last three fights.
Maria Henderson vs. Mackenzie Stiller – (Strawweight Bout)
With a 4-0 combined record through the amateur and professional rankings, newly-signed Maria “Mouse” Henderson will look to score a second BELLATOR victory against fellow unbeaten top prospect Mackenzie “MacJudo” Stiller in a strawweight bout. The 27-year-old Henderson — the wife of No. 3-ranked contender, BELLATOR 292 title challenger and headliner Benson Henderson — will clash with Stiller in a battle of submission aces sure to entertain a raucous Temecula, Calif. crowd on March 31.
Sullivan Cauley vs. Luke Trainer – Light Heavyweight Bout
In a clash of top light heavyweight prospects, No. 9-ranked Sullivan Cauley will put his undefeated record on the line against England’s Luke Trainer as part of the talent-rich BELLATOR 292 preliminary card. Arizona’s Cauley, the 26-year-old protégé of BELLATOR Heavyweight World Champion Ryan Bader, has rattled off a blistering run of five straight first-round knockouts under the BELLATOR banner to kick off his professional career. The Arizona State University wrestling alumnus will have his hands full against Trainer, also 26. The six-foot-six Trainer, whose skills are honed under the tutelage of U.K. MMA legend Brad Pickett, also sports a 100% stoppage rate — a finishing ability demonstrated in his October submission of Lucas Alsina at BELLATOR 287. The two emerging contenders will throw down March 31 in this must-see battle of light heavyweight prospects at Pechanga Resort Casino.
Vladimir Tokov vs. Lance Gibson Jr. – Lightweight Bout
One of Canada’s top young prospects, Lance Gibson Jr., will take on Team Fedor’s Vladimir Tokov in what promises to be an exciting matchup between two of the lightweight division’s brightest up-and-comers. The 28-year-old Gibson, trained under his father Lance Gibson Sr. and former BELLATOR Featherweight Champion Julia Budd, aims to keep his perfect record intact against Tokov following a highlight-reel first round submission in his last fight at BELLATOR 286 in October. Tokov, 26, also fought that night; the rangy Russian fought to a split-decision loss against fellow blue chip prospect Jay Jay Wilson in Long Beach, but his stock only rose following the razor-thin affair. Following his mentor Fedor Emelianenko’s February retirement, Tokov will look to continue Team Fedor’s winning tradition and put the Stary Oskol-based gym back in the win column against the heavily-hyped Gibson Jr. in Temecula.
Randi Field vs. Ashley Cummins – (120-Pound Contract Weight)
Canada’s Randi “Rose City Phoenix” Field will try to kick off her 2023 campaign with a bang at BELLATOR 293 when she faces former Invicta FC Atomweight Championship title challenger Ashley “Smashley” Cummins in a 120-pound contract weight bout. Field, 32, will look to pick up her second consecutive victory and add another highlight-reel finish to her resume against Cummins, who returns to BELLATOR after debuting with the promotion back in 2016, in what promises to be an exciting flyweight preliminary bout at the Pechanga Resort Casino.
Lucas Brennan vs. Josh San Diego – (Featherweight Bout)
One of BELLATOR’s top prospects, No. 10-ranked Lucas “Skywalker” Brennan, will return to action for his first 2023 appearance on March 31 against five-fight BELLATOR veteran Josh “The Zookeeper” San Diego. The 37-year-old San Diego will make his first walk to the cage since 2019, and he hopes that he will continue his two-fight winning streak by knocking off a man 15 years his junior. Brennan, 22, is currently tied for the four-most submission victories in BELLATOR history with five. He will look to keep his undefeated streak intact and pick up another finish at BELLATOR 293.
Pam Sorenson vs. Sara Collins – (Featherweight Bout)
No. 5-ranked women’s featherweight contender and former Invicta FC Featherweight Champion Pam “Bam Bam” Sorenson will welcome Australia’s Sara Collins to the BELLATOR cage in Temecula, California in this preliminary card matchup. The 36-year-old Sorenson will look to begin a new winning streak in the bout, while Collins aims to keep her unbeaten record intact while making a strong first impression in her first-ever BELLATOR appearance.
Christian Edwards vs. Rakim Cleveland – (Heavyweight Bout)
Highly touted prospect Christian “Pain” Edwards (5-2) will take on 38-fight veteran Rakim “The Boogeyman” Cleveland (22-15-1) in his first foray at heavyweight this March 31. Edwards, 24, looks to make the most of his six-foot-five frame and JacksonWink MMA training without the hassle of cutting down to 205 pounds, while Cleveland — who boasts 20 finishes in 22 professional victories — will try to score yet another highlight-reel stoppage at the SAP Center during BELLATOR 293.
BELLATOR 293: GOLM VS. JAMES MAIN CARD:
Friday, March 31 — 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT
Heavyweight Main Event: #7-Marcelo Golm (10-3) vs. #8-Daniel James (14-6-1)
Featherweight Co-Main Event: #1-Cat Zingano (13-4) vs. #4-Leah McCourt (7-2)
Middleweight Bout: #3-John Salter (18-6) vs. #7-Aaron Jeffrey (13-3)
Welterweight Bout: Jaleel Willis (16-4) vs. Rustam Khabilov (24-4)
BELLATOR 293: GOLM VS. JAMES PRELIMINARY CARD:
BELLATOR MMA YouTube channel | SHOWTIME Sports YouTube channel | Pluto TV
7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT
Light Heavyweight Bout: #9-Sullivan Cauley (5-0) vs. Luke Trainer (6-1)
Lightweight Bout: Archie Colgan (6-0) vs. Justin Montalvo (5-0)
Welterweight Bout: Joey Davis (8-0) vs. Jeff Creighton (6-2-1)
Featherweight Bout: #10-Lucas Brennan (7-0) vs. Josh San Diego (9-4)
Lightweight Bout: Lance Gibson Jr. (7-0) vs. Vladimir Tokov (8-2)
Featherweight Bout: Pam Sorenson (9-5) vs. Sara Collins (3-0)
Heavyweight Bout: Christian Edwards (5-2) vs. Rakim Cleveland (22-15-1, 1 NC)
Lightweight Bout: Mike Hamel (9-5) vs. Nick Browne (13-2)
120-Pound Contract Weight Bout: Randi Field (3-1) vs. Ashley Cummins (7-6)
Bantamweight Bout: Bryce Meredith (3-0) vs. Brandon Carrillo (1-0)
Strawweight Bout: Maria Henderson (1-0) vs. MacKenzie Stiller (Debut)
Welterweight Bout: Khonry Gracie (2-2) vs. David Pacheco (1-1)
*Card subject to change