Less than three years after stepping into the cage for the very first time, Honolulu’s Ilima-Lei Macfarlane has a date with destiny this weekend.
The Punahou graduate will co-main-event Bellator 186, fighting for the organization’s inaugural flyweight championship.
At 6-0, Macfarlane will face Emily Ducote on the campus of Pennsylvania State University this Friday on national television.
It’s been 11 months since her unanimous-decision victory over the Oklahoma native.
Now ranked 9th in the world, Macfarlane has a chance to not only etch her name into the Bellator history books as the first-ever champion, but also join the elite fraternity of BJ Penn, Max Holloway, and Angela Lee as Hawaii’s only world champions in major MMA organizations.
“There’s a lot of reasons why I want to win this bout. I would be making MMA history. I would be considered the best female fighter in the world. I’d be bringing it home to my gym. This would be the first world championship belt for my team,” Macfarlane said. “But more than that though, I want to be among the greats of Hawaii. I want to represent Hawaii to the best of my abilities, and I want to bring this belt home for them. They’re the ones that have been behind me this whole way. The entire state of Hawaii has been behind me and had my back throughout this whole journey. Hawaii loves their fighting. They love their fighters. I just want to bring another belt home to the 808 state.”
The fight will take place Friday, and if you can’t watch it live, the event will air on delay at 6 p.m. Hawaii time on Spike.