Ilima-Lei MacFarlane will be defending her flyweight title on December 10 against undefeated challenger, Juliana Velasquez.
ESPN was first to report the news and Bellator has since confirmed the fight. The bout will also take place at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut, where Bellator has been holding all their US-based shows during the pandemic.
MacFarlane is a perfect 11-0 as a pro and is widely considered one of the best women’s MMA fighters in the world. She has defended her flyweight title four times and is coming off a decision win over Kate Jackson in December in her home state of Hawaii.
The 30-year-old has had 10 of her 11 fights in Bellator and became the inaugural flyweight champion in 2017 with a submission win over Emily Ducote. During her title reign, she has earned submission wins over Alejandra Lara, Valerie Letourneau, and a TKO win over Veta Arteaga.
Juliana Velasquez, meanwhile, like the champion is also undefeated as she is 10-0. The Brazilian last fought on the same card MacFarlane beat Jackson in December. There, she beat Bruna Ellen by decision. In Bellator, she 5-0 with notable wins over Alejandra Lara and Kristina Williams.
This will be the first time Velasquez fights for Bellator gold and many pundits believe this will be the toughest test for MacFarlane.