- What: Bellator 293
- Date: Friday, March 31, 2023
- Location: Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California
- Time: Prelims 7 p.m. ET, Main Card 10 p.m. ET
- How to Watch: Prelims (YouTube/Pluto TV), Main Card (Showtime)
Bellator MMA closes out the month of March with the Bellator 293 fight card from the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California. The Showtime event is headlined by a heavyweight bout between the promotion’s No. 5 ranked fighter Marcelo Golm vs. No. 7 Daniel James. In the evening’s co-main event, No. 1 ranked women’s featherweight contender Cat Zingano faces No. 4 Leah McCourt. Below is some background on the event’s headliners before we discuss the Bellator 293 betting breakdown.
Golm enters Bellator 293 with a 10-3 career record (2-0 Bellator). Both his Bellator fights have ended by way of finish. Meanwhile, James is 13-6-1. He returned to Bellator in 2022 and is coming off a second-round knockout win over Tyrell Fortune.
Zingano sports a 13-4 career record (3-0 Bellator), she has two decision wins and one submission victory since coming over to the promotion from the UFC on 2020. McCourt, who has been with Bellator since 2019 (6-1) is 7-2 in her MMA career. Her most recent outing was a decision win in September.
Bettator 293 picks
|Marcelo Golm vs. Daniel James||Golm||+120||+120||+120|
|Cat Zingano vs. Leah McCourt||McCourt||-110||-110||-110|
Marcelo Golm vs. Daniel James breakdown and analysis
There are a few things to note about this contest. First, Marcelo Golm is 11 years younger than Daniel James. Second, James has more experience than Golm. Third, Golm has more high-level experience than James. Fourth, Golm enters this fight with more time off than his opponent.
James punched his ticket to this matchup with a knockout win over the highly favored Tyrell Fortune. I won’t say that win was luck, but Golm is a more savvy fighter than Fortune, and I don’t see him providing the openings that Fortune afforded James.
The youth of Golm could play into this fight, but at heavyweight, that’s less of a factor than in other weight divisions. Golm’s high-level experience will be a factor. He is a good striker and skilled on the ground. I expect him to take advantage of James’ takedown defense in this contest and that he will be smart enough to stay away from the power of his opponent’s hands.
Cat Zingano vs. Leah McCourt breakdown and analysis
The keys to the matchup between Cat Zingano and Leah McCourt will be the time off for Zingano and how much McCourt has learned from her recent loss. Zingano has not fought since she defeated Pam Sorenson in June, and at 40, it could be tough for her to shake off any ring rust she has when she faces the 30-year-old McCourt. As for McCourt, she bounced back from her February 2022 decision loss to Sinead Kavanagh with a decision win over Dayana Silva in September.
I expect McCourt and her team will have the younger fighter well trained to avoid the wrestling of Zingano and to work all the way out or all the way in so McCourt can take control of the fight via her striking skills. If McCourt can do that and get off to a fast start, this fight is hers to lose.
The winner of this contest should get the opportunity to face Cris Cyborg for the Bellator women’s featherweight title.
Best Bellator 293 bets
In the main event, there is some value in picking Daniel James to win via knockout thanks to his power, but the more likely outcome of this fight is for Marcelo Golm to win via submission.
Bellator 293 Main Event Betting Pick: Marcelo Golm to beat Daniel James via submission at Bellator 293.
In the Bellator 293 co-main event, there is value in picking Cat Zingano to win if one believes she can rack up takedowns and ground control time over the less experienced Leah McCourt. However, when it comes to Bellator 293 betting, pick Leah McCourt to win via decision because of her striking.
Bellator 293 Co-Main Event Betting Pick: Leah McCourt to beat Cat Zingano via decision at Bellator 293.
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