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Sunday, Oct 06, 2019

Bellator Champ Ilima-Lei Macfarlane to Return Home to Hawaii for Title Defense

Ilima-Lei Macfarlane and Bellator President Scott Coker (right) (photo via Bellator)

By Press Release

For the second time in as many years, Neal S. Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu, Hawaii will host the homecoming of Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (10-0), as she puts her undefeated record and Bellator women’s flyweight title on the line against No. 1 contender Kate Jackson (11-3-1) in the main event on Saturday, Dec. 21, streamed exclusively on the DAZN app.

In addition, Bellator Hawaii will feature the first quarterfinal matchup of Bellator’s Featherweight World Grand Prix, when the man with the longest winning streak in promotional history, A.J. McKee (15-0), takes on the always-exciting Derek Campos (20-9) in the evening’s co-headliner.

Bellator: Macfarlane vs. Jackson – one of the star-powered, year-end highlights of fight season on DAZN – will stream live exclusively on DAZN at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT, while preliminary action will stream on Bellator.com, DAZN and globally on the Bellator Mobile App. Tickets go on sale next Friday, Oct. 11 and can be purchased through Bellator.com, as well as Ticketmaster.com or the Neal S. Blaisdell Arena box office. Additional bouts will be announced in the coming weeks.

Born and raised in Honolulu, current Bellator women’s flyweight champ Macfarlane made her pro debut in 2015 with a KO victory that went viral and has not looked back since, remaining undefeated in her career. With impressive victories over Valerie Letourneau and Veta Arteaga, Macfarlane was the focal point of Bellator’s debut in Hawaii last year. A proud graduate of Honolulu’s Punahou High School in 2009, Macfarlane later attended San Diego State University, where she would go on to earn her Master’s degree in liberal arts and science with a focus on indigenous issues – a subject she remains passionate about, launching “The Ilimanator Scholarship” for indigenous girls last year. Now Ilima-Lei turns her focus to Kate Jackson, who will be looking to play the role of spoiler when she enters the Bellator cage on December 21.

A winner of seven of her last eight fights, Kate Jackson has earned her way to a title shot against the division’s inaugural champion. A competitor on the 23rd season of The Ultimate Fighter, Jackson hails from Lostwithiel, Cornwall, England, and most recently defeated Lena Ovchynnikova in London. Jackson made her Bellator debut in 2017 with a first round-victory over of Colleen Schneider and would later go on to dominate Anastasia Yankova at historic Bellator 200 in front of her hometown crowd. Facing the biggest test of her career, Jackson looks to reign atop the flyweight division when she leaves Hawaii.

With an undefeated professional record of 15-0, including six knockouts and eight first round finishes, there doesn’t seem to be much more for the talent-oozing 24-year-old to prove to the MMA community before his name is routinely mentioned among the division’s elite. Fighting out of Long Beach, Calif., “Mercenary” is fresh off of a jaw-dropping performance that saw him finish Georgi Karakhanyan in only eight seconds just moments after watching his father, Antonio McKee, collect a knockout victory in what was the first ever father-son duo to compete on the same card in the US. With all 15 of his career wins coming under the direction of the Scott Coker-led promotion, the Team BodyShop product has made it clear that he has his sights on Patricio “Pitbull” and his 145-pound belt, as he continues to build a strong argument as the new face of Bellator. Constantly looking for new records to break, McKee may have found the perfect match in Campos, as the two brawlers have combined for a remarkable 22 finishes over 36 career victories.

Fighting out of Lubbock, Texas, Campos will be competing in the first of the four quarterfinal matchups in Bellator’s Featherweight World Grand Prix, following a decisive victory over former featherweight world champion Daniel Straus at Bellator 226 this past September. The 31-year-old knockout artist is ready to build on his impressive professional record of 20-9, when he takes on undefeated superstar McKee on December 21. Always ready to trade blows, the heavy-handed veteran has spent much of his time competing in Bellator’s lightweight and welterweight divisions over the past six years of his career. Now, “The Stallion” hopes to continue his impressive surge in the 145-pound class, as he prepares to go toe-to-toe with one of the most dangerous featherweights in the world. With a shot at one million dollars on the line, Campos will rely on his fearless fighting style and sound wrestling background if he wants to advance in what many have pinned as one of the most anticipated matchups in the second round.

Bellator Hawaii: Macfarlane vs. Jackson Main Card:

Flyweight World Title Bout: Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (10-0) vs. Kate Jackson (11-3-1)

Featherweight World Grand Prix Quarterfinal Bout: A.J. McKee (15-0) vs. Derek Campos (20-9)

*Card subject to change.

posted by FCF Staff @ 7:00 am
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