CHICAGO — A native of Chicago who is working his way up the ranks of Bellator MMA is going to get another chance to fight in his hometown this summer.

Daniel James, a heavyweight fighter who is currently fourth in that division, will take on Gokhan Saricam at Bellator 297 on Friday, June 16 at Wintrust Arena, WGN News has learned. This comes after “The American Predator” defeated Marcelo Golm at Bellator 293 in Temecula, California with a third round knockout.

That improved James’ professional mixed martial arts record to 15-6-1 as he has now scored knockouts in his last five fights.

This will be the west side native’s third fight in the Chicagoland area in his Bellator career, having won his first fight with the company against Erick Correa at Bellator 112 in Hammond, Indiana on March 14, 2014.

On November 18, 2022, James made his return to Bellator at Wintrust Arena, scoring a second round knockout of Tyrell Fortune.

These matches have come after he spent the previous three years fighting overseas in both Europe and Russia. He’s returned to the United States in hopes of not only continuing his in-ring success but also inspiring other young fighters in the Chicago area.

“Just inspire a lot of youth, teenagers, and people from Chicago that have been following me, and I’ve been mentoring a lot of kids,” said James in an interview with WGN News Now earlier in 2023. “So for them to see me do this and to overcome a lot of different things in life, its some motivation, inspiration for them.”

Here are some of the other bouts that will be featured on the main card of Bellator 297.

Light Heavyweight World Title Bout: Vadim Nemkov (16-2) vs. Yoel Romero (15-6)
Bantamweight World Title Bout: Sergio Pettis (22-5) vs. Patricio “Pitbull” (35-5)
Light Heavyweight Bout: Corey Anderson (16-6) vs. Phil Davis (24-6)