HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Bellator 212 was a night to celebrate for a few reasons.
For one, just having a major MMA promotion come back to the islands to host a card at the neal S. Blaisdell was a monumental achievement in itself. Throw in a homegrown champion in Bellator flyweight title holder Ilima-Lei Macfarlane and there’s plenty for Hawaii MMA fans to cheer about.
But tonight’s Bellator 212 was unlike any other event not just because of its action-packed fights. It was for the men and women who serve in the armed services, who dedicate their lives each and every day.
“I think it’s our duty to give back. That was our mission,” said Bellator president Scott Coker.
The men and women in the armed services were celebrated Friday night by the Bellator organization with free admission and a night chock-full of uplifting stories and gratitude from the fighters themselves.
“I fought at Madison Square Garden, I fought some of the top lightweights in the world,” said Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler. “I’ve fought in some big fights but to be able to fight in front of service men and women in uniform in the Blaisdell Arena in beautiful Hawaii is nothing short of amazing.”