Monday, August 15, 2022

Ilima-Lei MacFarlane Eyes ‘Champ-Champ Status’ After Bellator 236 Win

Ilima-Lei MacFarlane wants to become the first woman in Bellator to be a champ-champ. She is the current reigning and defending flyweight champion, yet she wants Bellator to open up a bantamweight division.

MacFarlane has defended her title now four times and most recently doing so on Saturday against Kate Jackson. Yet, the Hawaiian has made it clear she is tired of cutting weight and hopes a 135 pound division starts up.

“I want to be champ-champ status. I want that champ-champ status, or I want that opportunity,” Macfarlane told MMA Junkie backstage at the Neal S. Blaisdell Arena. “So I’m saying it now. I want a bantamweight division.”

Although MacFarlane wants the division to be added, Bellator president, Scott Coker doesn’t seem as interested. Instead, he says he would only add the weight class if the Hawaiian was really struggling to make 125.

“I don’t think she had that hard of a time to get to ’25,” Coker said. “I’ll have to talk to her, but when these fighters are in their camps and they’re kind of doing their thing – I kind of stay away. But we’ll talk to her. But to me, we have a 125 pound weight class. She looked great in there, she didn’t gas. It’s not like she cuts so much weight she gassed out there.

“She was in a tough match for five rounds and she handled it, so to me, we’d like her to stay there,” he continued. “If it was really something that she had to do, we would consider it.”

Coker has talked about doing a women’s flyweight grand prix next. So, for the time being, MacFarlane’s chances at champ-champ status seem unlikely.

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