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Bellator 254 Ilima-Lei MacFarlane returns to fight In toughest challenge to date.

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Bellator President Scott Coker  announced that Women’s Flyweight Champion MacFarlane (11-0) is returning to the ring. It has been nearly a year since her last fight, which took place at Bellator 236 in her homeland of Hawaii.  She was able to defend her title against opponent Kate Jackson then, but is now returning to the ring yet again to test her abilities.


The Covid-19 Pandemic disrupted Bellator’s original fight schedule, but MacFarlane is now back and facing her toughest opponent to date. Julianna Velasquez is 10-0, and her most recent fight with Bruna Ellen the Brazillian has made it clear that she is a worthy challenger.


Velasquez has ended three of her last five fights by finishes, her brutal Knockout of Kristina Williams demonstrating  the level of power and control she is able to hold over her opponents.


MacFarlane has defended her belt four times since she defeated Emily Ducote at Bellator 186 in 2017, with three of those fights being the main event. If she manages to triumph over Velasquez, then there won’t be many fighters left for her to contend with. However, the stage is set for a heated rivalry to arrive should Velasquez come out on top, especially in a close contest (which is anticipated.)


MacFarlane has been training with 10th Planet BJJ to prepare for the fight, honing her abilities and recentering her focus after a difficult personal year. MacFarlane has had to cope with losing her beloved dog, postponing her wedding plans due to Covid-19, and filing a lawsuit alleging sexual abuse from her former grade school Basketball Coach. 


Even after all of these challenges, she is still ready and eager to fight to keep what’s hers in what is undoubtedly going to be a heated and exciting fight between the two formidable opponents.


Who will walk out with the Bellator World Women’s Flyweight Title? Tune in to Bellator 254 on Thursday night, 9pm CST on CBS Sports.

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