Ilima-Lei Macfarlane is excited to be bringing Bellator MMA back to Hawaii in 2019. The undefeated flyweight champion is putting her world title and perfect record (10-0) to the test December 21 at the Neal Blaisdell Arena against Kate Jackson (11-3-1).
"I don't know how my career can possibly get any better," said Macfarlane. "I was finally able to come back home and fight in front of my family and friends. It was the most amazing night ever. Being able to continuously bring it home every year is my next goal. We can get so many other local fighters on the card now, and exposure, and give them opportunities they might not have otherwise."
Macfarlane is excited to recreate what she called that “chicken skin feeling” from her last matchup. “I feel like having a platform, having people watching my walkouts, I have a way to get a particular message across. Most of my walkouts are dedicated to some type of First Nations people. This time, there’s going to be lots and lots of mana wāhine up there on the stage. And you’ll definitely see an issue that I am passionate about. It’s going to be amazing.” The fighter is referring to the conflict over the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea.
"Another thing I am passionate about is young native girls," explained Macfarlane. "Teaching self-defense. Teaching girls that it's ok to stand up and fight back."
"We breed wonderful talent, MMA fighters here in Hawaii. I think our fighting in Hawaii is founded and built upon respect. You shake hands afterwards. As cliché as this sounds but it truly is in our DNA. As Hawaiians we were all warriors."
For more information:
Tickets for the event: ticketmaster.com